Smoking has long been known to cause heart disease and lung cancer; however many people don’t realize that smoking can lead to vision loss. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

One way to reduce the risk of developing AMD is by NOT smoking. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD than nonsmokers. Nonsmokers living with smokers almost double their risk of developing AMD.


Heavy smokers (15 cigarettes/day or more) have up to three times the risk of cataract as nonsmokers.


There is a strong link between smoking and high blood pressure, cataracts and diabetes all of which are risk factors for glaucoma.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking can increase your chances of getting diabetes. It can also make managing diabetes more difficult for those who already have it. Complications of diabetes made worse by smoking include retinopathy, heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, foot problems and many others.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is more than twice as likely to impact smokers as non-smokers.

What You Can Do to Prevent Vision Loss:

Healthy habits can lead to healthy eyes.

The risk of eye disease and vision loss can be lowered if you:

  • Quit smoking!
  • Eat healthy foods (including green leafy vegetables, fruits and foods high in vitamins C, E, and beta carotene).
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Stay active.
  • Visit your eye care professional regularly.
  • Are You Ready to Quit? Talk about it with your doctor. He or she may prescribe a nicotine replacement therapy or other medication.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

McKenna & Scott Pinelands

Tel: 021 531 1953