Everyone knows smoking cigarettes affect your lungs and your heart, but did you know it can affect your eyes? With as many as 4000 different chemicals in cigarette smoke, eyes are at risk not only from direct inhalation of cigarette smoke but also second-hand smoke exposure.1
Most of us have experienced the increased tearing and red eyes as the result of passive exposure to cigarettes. These are reactions to some of the toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide contained in the cigarette smoke. Studies suggest second-hand smoke exposure also damages the cells on the surface of the eye.2 And children exposed to second hand smoke have been shown to have a 20% increase in their odds of developing allergic conjunctivitis.1
But as expected, the direct inhalation of cigarette smoke is linked to much more damage to the eyes than second-hand exposure.
Cigarette smoking is linked to eye conditions and diseases such as:
Increased risk of developing cataracts at an earlier age3
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)6
Check out our printer-friendly contact lens care infographic.