Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Avoid Smoking for Best Eye Health

Helping my Birmingham patients maintain and preserve the best eye health means encouraging them to quit and avoid smoking,” said Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. Dr. Michelson emphasized, “It can be really tough for younger patients to understand the increased eye health risks later in life that smoking exposes them to.”

Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away, increases your future risks for cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The more a person smokes, the higher the risks. The good news is that after people quit smoking, their risks for these eye diseases become almost as low as for people who never smoked at all.

Smoking also raises the risks for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence your eyes’ health. And tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, is an irritant that worsens dry eye, a very uncomfortable eye condition that is most common in women after menopause. Smoking increases the risk of serious vision loss in people with other eye diseases. And when women smoke during pregnancy they are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at higher risk for a potentially blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.

If you or someone you know want to quit smoking and would like help the American Cancer Society has a resource at www.cancer.org. If you would like to learn more about smoking and eye health problems please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Birmingham eye care practice with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.