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Smoking is the act of inhaling and exhaling the fumes from burning plant sources such as tobacco and. We know that smoking negatively affects organs of the body such as the liver, kidneys, heart and lungs. But what most people do not know is that this same habit also has serious negative effects on the eyes by making certain eye diseases worse. Some of these diseases include:

Dry Eye Syndrome

This eye disease affects the eyes in form of redness, itching and swelling of the eyes. Tobacco smoking can contribute to this because cigarettes contain several chemicals that irritate the eyes. It can also impair their ability to produce tears of good quality and quantity, thus leading to dry eyes.


Cataracts are described as the clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. It usually gets worse as we get older. Cataracts are closely linked to ageing, but they can also affect younger people. Tobacco smoking alters the cells of the eyes and also builds up metal residue in the eyes. These are two major contributing factors to the development of cataracts.


Glaucoma is a disease caused by a shortage of blood flow to the optic nerves in the eyes. This shortage kills the nerve cells, resulting in a gradual loss of vision. When one smokes tobacco, it contributes to this breakdown by forming plaques in the blood vessels of the eyes which will block the nerves thus hindering the flow of blood to the optic nerves.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina in the eyes resulting in a breakdown, leakage or blocking of the eye vessels, and as time goes on, this can affect vision. Smoking hardens the arteries, and this increases the progression rate of diabetic retinopathy.

Tobacco smoking is as dangerous to your eyes as it is to other organs in your body. Therefore, we advise that you completely quit your smoking habit to maintain healthy eyes. This action can also speed up the recovery rate of any eye disease that you might be currently experiencing. Contact us for more advice on the best way to protect your eyes.