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Stoptober

Kick the Habit, Save your Eyesight

We are all aware of the links between smoking and cancer but most of us don’t know that smoking can severely damage our eyes and in some cases even lead to sight loss. In fact, just 15% of smokers are worried about the impact the habit has on their vision.

We’ve been working with top ophthalmologist Dr Alexander Ionides from Moorfields Eye Hospital to give you another reason to quit - to save your eyes.

Research shows that smoking cigarettes dramatically increases your chances of developing eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts, which remain one of the biggest causes of sight loss in the UK. Lighting up can also make you four times more likely to develop macular degeneration in later life. Worryingly, all of these eye conditions can lead to vision loss in one or both eyes.

Smokers are 4 times more likely to develop AMD

According to Dr Ionides, smoking can also lead to a more rapid deterioration of vision loss for people with pre-existing eye conditions, while smoking will worsen problems associated with thyroid eye disease. People with diabetes should also avoid smoking, as it can make diabetic sight problems, such as diabetic retinopathy much worse.

Although most of these conditions are treatable, giving up smoking will greatly reduce the risk of developing problems with your eyesight. According to Stoptober - a nationwide campaign to help you quit smoking in October, you are five times more likely to kick the habit for good if you stop smoking for 28 days.

So take the challenge, kick the habit this month and save your eyesight.