We think of lung cancer as the health risk associated with smoking. However, we
hardly consider other parts of the body that do not have direct contact with smoke
like our eyes. Here are some of the conditions that smoking can lead to:


An average smoker increases their risk of developing cataracts compared to a non-
smoker. Smoking reduces the supply of antioxidants reaching the eye which, in turn,
can be a trigger of the formation of cataracts in the natural lens. Smoke interferes
with the cells in the lens and could cause them to mutate. Symptoms of cataracts
include poor night vision and blurry vision.

Age-related macular degeneration

This condition is found four times more in smokers than in non-smokers. It is an age-
related condition whereby the macular (the part of the retina responsible for clear
vision in your direct line of sight) breaks down. Smoking disrupts the blood flow in the
retina, bringing on AMD quickly. It can affect the central vision of a person, beginning
with blurred vision and faded colors before resulting in total loss of central vision.

Irritated eyes

With its harmful elements, tobacco smoke can cause changes to the tear film of the
eyes. It affects smokers and those breathing in second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke
can also dehydrate the surface of the eyes, making them feel itchy and scratchy
resulting in dry eye syndrome.