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Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Smoking Linked to Eye Disease

In addition to causing heart and lung disease, smoking is bad for your eyes.

Boston, MA, November 19, 2013: Women’s Eye Health.org, formed in response to the troubling reality that 2/3 of the world’s population of blind and visually impaired persons are women, announced new information regarding smoking and the eye.

You already know that smoking greatly increases your risk of getting lung cancer and heart disease. And you may have heard also that smoking doubles your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration, a blinding eye disease. Well, here's yet another reason why people, and especially women, should try to quit smoking: A recent study [Zhang and co-workers, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., August, 2013] shows that smoking also raises your risk of getting Fuchs' corneal dystrophy.

Fuchs' dystrophy is a fairly common disease of the cornea – the transparent front window of the eye. The older you are, the greater your chance of having Fuchs'; about ten percent of people over 60 are affected to some degree. An early symptom is blurred vision when you get up in the morning that gets better as the day goes on. Fuchs' progresses with time, vision gets worse, and the only treatment for late-stage disease is a corneal transplant.

For unknown reasons, the disease is 35 percent more common in women than in men. The new finding in the recent journal article is that smoking increases the odds of having late-stage Fuchs' dystrophy by another 30 percent. The link between smoking and eye disease is just another reason not to smoke.


About Women’s Eye Health.org
Women’s Eye Health.org was formed in response to the troubling reality that 2/3 of the world’s population of blind and visually impaired persons are women. In 2001, a group of researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston joined forces with colleagues from around the world to form Women’s Eye Health.org (WEH.org). It has been estimated that 3/4 of blindness and visual impairment is preventable or treatable; thus, education of the public is paramount. Women’s Eye Health.org was formed to raise awareness of these facts.
Visit http://www.womenseyehealth.org for more information.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


In Partnership with:

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Women's Eye Health Mission:

The mission of Women’s Eye Health.org is to educate people regarding those eye diseases that:

  • Are intrinsically more prevalent in women
  • Occur more often in women because women live longer than men
  • Are exacerbated by nutritional habits, smoking and/or environmental insult


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