How Smoking Promotes Early Cataract Growth: And What You Can Do To Stop It


So you're young, a smoker, in the prime of your life, and in nearly perfect health. However, your doctor is noticing the early warning signs of cataracts on your eye, something that you can hardly believe. Your smoking likely has something to do with it. Here's what you need to know about smoking and cataracts and how quitting smoking can help.

How Much Does Smoking Increase The Risk Of Developing Cataracts Early In Life?

Smoking is one of the world's leading causes of cataracts, which are the most common cause of blindness. While many people will develop cataracts in their life, smoking will increase your risk exponentially. Just how much does it affect early cataracts?

One study suggests that men who smoked at least a pack of cigarettes every day had a 200% increased risk of developing posterior subcapsular cataracts and a 100% increased risk of developing nuclear sclerosis cataracts. Though the increase in risk for women was smaller (60%), it was still noticeable.

A local cataract surgeon can have a go to website for you to learn more about cataracts and their removal.

Is Smoking The Only Way They Develop Early?

Smoking isn't the only reason people develop cataracts early. Some people are born with cataracts, but these are usually removed early in their life. Injuries, such as impact during a sporting event or banging the eye against a wall, can also cause early cataract development. And diseases, such as diabetes and the use of medical steroids also increase the risk.

Quitting Smoking Reduces The Risk

While it's obvious that smoking raises your risk of developing cataracts early in life, can you actually reverse the progress by quitting? Thankfully, a Swedish study reported in Reuters Health followed 45,000 men and found that quitting dropped the risk of developing cataracts by at least 50%.

However, this reduced risk of cataracts wasn't immediate: the study took place over a 20-year period, so quitting early is imperative. And even though it might be tough, it's worth decreasing the risk of cataracts by giving it a shot.

How To Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is a complicated and difficult process that varies wildly from person to person. For example, some people can't quit just cold turkey by never picking up another pack. Others struggle with that route and need a cessation aide, such as nicotine gum or e-cigs. suggest choosing a specific day when you want to quit, developing a plan that works for you (including healthy does of nicotine replacement therapy), staying busy when the urge to smoke strikes, and avoiding common smoking triggers (such as going to a bar or visiting friends who smoke).

Although quitting will be hard, it will give you the edge you need to help decrease your risk of developing cataracts early in life. And that's an outcome worth the struggle of quitting.


20 April 2016

A New You

Growing up, one of my best friends was also my cousin. This special cousin and I shared something in common. We both had fiery red hair. When we were kids, many people thought we were sisters when they saw us together. Sadly, my cousin was born with crossed eyes, and because of her condition, she was often ridiculed by the other kids at school. As we grew older we began researching modern ways to correct her problem. Together we found the perfect solution. If you were born with crossed eyes, don’t despair. You do have hope. On this blog, you will discover the latest treatments optometrists use to help cure a patient’s crossed eyes.