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Our West Orange office will be permanently closed starting 9/17/21. Please visit us at our Whippany location.

Smoking Increases Your Risk of Developing Eye Diseases By ksmmdeye on January 15, 2017

A lit and smoking cigaretteWe've developed a strong patient base here in West Orange thanks to our expert eye care services. Whether we're diagnosing and removing cataracts or performing advanced laser eye surgery, our focus is always on patient wellness. We also put an emphasis on preventative care, because this empowers patients to improve their vision through healthy lifestyle choices.

One the healthiest choices you can make is to quit smoking. As you're about to find out, smoking can lead to major eye issues down the road.

Smoking Causes Numerous Health Problems

Smoking has been linked to countless general health and wellness problems. It's simply fact that smoking can cause lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. Smoking can also affect other parts of your body, including the teeth, your gums, and even your eyes. There are many vision problems that are linked to smoking, and we'd like to go over these briefly below.


Cataracts refer to the clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye. This condition becomes more likely as you grow older, but smokers tend to run a greater risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers. Some studies have found that regular smokers are twice as likely to develop cataracts when compared to non-smokers; heavy smokers are three times more likely.


Glaucoma refers to an irreversible form of vision loss that is caused by increased pressure within the eyes. This damages the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. The issues with hypertension associated with smoking can potentially increase issues with glaucoma for those at risk for the condition.

Macular Degeneration

The retina is the membrane of tissue located at the back of the eye. It is essential for proper vision. The macula is an oval structure near the center of the retina. Mecular dgeneration is a type of central vision loss caused by problems with blood vessels in the central area of the retina. Smoking has been linked to cell damage of retina, making this condition more likely.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a vision problem experienced by those who've had diabetes for a long time. Smoking has been linked to diabetes as well as issues with diabetes related health conditions. If you have diabetes, it's important that you monitor your condition closely and try to lead as healthy a life as possible.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome can be quite irritating and annoying. Studies have found that smoking can increase the risk of chronic dry eye in some individuals. Smoke in general may even trigger a dry eye attack.

Eye Infections

People who use tobacco products tends to be more prone to infection than non-smokers. This can translate into a greater likelihood of developing eye infections. This includes relatively minor eye infections like pink eye (conjunctivitis) as well as much more serious infections like uveitis.

A Good Excuse to Kick the Habit

Knowing what you do now, you may be interested in kicking the habit for good. If so, we would be more than happy to point you toward resources that can make quitting smoking a reality. Just know that while it may be difficult to kick the habit, there are plenty of great reasons to try to live a smoke-free and tobacco-free life.

Learn More About Your Vision Care Needs

If you would like to learn more about improving your vision and preventing serious problems that affect ocular health, be sure to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction center today. The team at our practice looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail.

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Dr. Kenneth S. Miller is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 40 years of experience serving the Northern New Jersey area. He is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

To schedule a consultation at our practice, contact us online or call us in Whippany, NJ, at (973) 325-3300.

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16 South Jefferson Rd.
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Whippany, NJ 07981

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