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Smoke gets in your eyes! PDF Print Email

Eye surgeon, Milind Pande is marking Stoptober, the UK's mass 28 day stop smoking attempt by urging smokers to think about their eye sight! Smoking significantly increases the risk of impaired vision due to macular degeneration.

The campaign comes as new research shows the extra years of life that can be gained by giving up smoking and staying smokefree.  Milind Pande said: “It is now becoming clear that smoking is a bad thing for eye sight. It greatly increase the chance of age related macular degeneration which is one of the most common causes of loss of vision in the UK today.

“Smoking damages blood vessels and the structure of the eye and smokers are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers. The part of the eye responsible for central vision is the part of the retina called themacula.  Age related macular degeneration is a common ageing process in the macula which causes vision loss. There is now convincing evidence that tobacco smoking increases the risk of severe loss of vision from AMD.“

Mr Pande, who is medical director and consultant ophthalmologist at Vision Surgery in East Yorkshire concluded: “Along with stopping smoking, diet is key for reducing your risk. Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables protect the body against the effects of 'free radicals' which damage cells or prevent cell repair. Alcohol destroys these as does a diet with lots of hydrogenated or saturated fats. These things also increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.”
Stoptober 2014 takes place for the whole of the month of October. Visit https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk