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Should Cataract Patients Smoke?

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Cataracts are an age-related ocular disorder, which partially explains why they afflict so many millions of individuals worldwide. Cataracts are likelier to form with age and may begin developing in one’s 40s. While they are mainly driven by protein breakdown in the eye due to aging, other factors can quicken their onset. One such factor, which can have destructive effects throughout the entire body, is smoking.

Therefore, to help protect yourself from the formation of cataracts, along with many other health complications, one should avoid smoking. You can also maintain your ocular wellness by contacting us at Kirk Eye Center in Chicago, Gurnee, River Forest, or Glen Ellyn, IL.

Why do cataracts occur?

Cataracts are an age-related visual disorder whose prevalence increases with age. Cataracts generally begin developing in one’s 40s as the proteins in the eye’s lens break down. Unfortunately, these proteins don’t just break down; they also start to clump together. The eye has no method to dispose of these clumps of degraded proteins, which continue to grow larger.

As a result, they cloud the lens, blocking light from reaching the retina. With less and less light reaching the retina, vision loss occurs. If left untreated, functional or total vision loss can occur, making cataracts the world’s leading cause of blindness.

Yet, there is a very effective treatment, cataract surgery. It’s one of the most commonly carried out surgical procedures in the world. And it has been perfected over the decades to offer effective, safe, and reliable results. Whether or not one requires cataract removal surgery depends on the individual and the degree of cataracts.

If required, however, the surgical procedure is quick and virtually painless. It’s also

straightforward, involving our expert doctors making a tiny incision on the outer eye using a state-of-the-art laser system. We then access and break down the cataracts and lens through this incision before placing a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) into the eye. Visual improvements are immediate.

Should cataract patients smoke?

No, cataract patients should not smoke. Smoking severely impacts overall health and is harmful to bodily systems. And it’s no different when it comes to ocular integrity.

Smoking causes damage to various tissue types within the eyes, including the tiny, delicate blood vessels that supply numerous ocular structures with nutrients and oxygen. Therefore, smoking is detrimental to multiple parts of the eye, including the retina and lens, which must work in concert and be free of defects to allow good vision.

Cataracts can produce various symptoms that disrupt one’s daily life and make it challenging or impossible to correctly complete everyday tasks. These symptoms include blurry or cloudy vision, a fading of colors, trouble with night vision, double vision, and sensitivity to light.

The difference in risk factors between smokers and nonsmokers is dramatic. According to the FDA, individuals who smoke cigarettes are twice or thrice as likely to develop cataracts.

Seek treatment for cataracts today

Living with cataracts can hinder your attempts at leading a productive, happy life. Ocular health is of the utmost importance, and our experienced team is dedicated to your well-being. So, contact us today at Kirk Eye Center to explore your options, or visit one of our Illinois offices in Chicago, Gurnee, River Forest, or our newest practice in Glen Ellyn.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.