Smoking not only causes cancer in the lungs: it also leaves you blind

If you are a smoker, you have double the chance of losing sight than a person who has never taken a cigarette. This is what the National Institute for the Blind in the United Kingdom (RNIB) says, although smokers do not see that danger: according to a survey, only one in five knows the relationship between tobacco and blindness, although 75 percent do know that it causes cancer.

Experts have been warning for years about the risks to the eyes of tobacco due to its ingredients. Many smokers are not aware that, in each cigarette, they are sucking up toxic chemicals like heavy metals that not only irritate the eyes, but affect and damage them directly.

Some of the most dangerous heavy metals are lead and copper, both present in the tobacco: they can accumulate in the lens, which is located behind the pupil, and which is in charge of focusing the rays that come from the light. When that lens becomes cloudy or cloudy, a serious cataract problem is generated.

Loss of vision

It is not the only risk facing smokers: their risk multiplies by three that of non-smokers in terms of suffer macular degeneration with age, a problem that affects the central vision of people. They can also worsen vision problems related to diabetes, as they damage the blood vessels of the retina.

Only one in five smokers knows the relationship between smoking and blindness, while 3 out of 4 do know that it causes cancer

Even multiply by 16 the risk of suffering optic neuropathy, a pathology that causes sudden loss of vision due to the blocking of the blood supply to the eye. Therefore, experts in optometry, the science that is responsible for taking care of visual health, emphasize the importance of quitting smoking to take care of our eyes.

Aishah Fazlanie, adviser to the British Optometry Association, told the BBC that "people tend to know the link between smoking and cancer, but many people they are not aware of the impact that smoking can have on the eyes. Smoking increases the risk of eye-threatening conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, which is an important reason why smokers take into account the possibility of quitting. "