Smoking can cause blindness

Copied from the Macular Society

Many of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are extremely toxic. These toxic chemicals are then transported to the delicate tissues of the eye through the bloodstream, where they damage the structure of the cells.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “It is surprising how many people do not realise that smoking causes blindness. The message is often missing from anti-smoking messages, which simply concentrate on the life-threatening side effects of smoking. Sight loss, however, is a very important effect of smoking.

“If you smoke, you’re three to four times more likely to develop macular disease. If you smoke and you have certain genetic characteristics, then your risk goes up enormously. You could be 20 or more times more likely to get macular disease if you have those certain genes and you smoke. Smoking is incredibly bad for your eyes.”

For more information on macular degeneration, call the Macular Society’s helpline on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org.

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