Smoking Can Increase the Risk of Eye Diseases By David Gross on November 30, 2016

A lit cigaretteThe team at our practice believes in offering patients state-of-the-art vision correction. Good eye care services means combining the latest technology with common sense preventative care. We want to empower the patients who come to our Merrillville practice so they can see clearly for years and years to come.

We stress to our patients is that a healthy lifestyle means better vision. With that in mind, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Smoking Can Negatively Affect Your Vision

Many people know that smoking can have a negative effect on general wellness. Studies have shown that smokers are far more likely to develop lung disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, dental problems, and cancer. In addition to those health problems, smoking will have an impact on the quality of your vision. This is just another reason why it's a good idea to quit while you have a chance.


Cataracts are the clouding of the lens of the eye. It may occur as part of the aging process, an injury to the eye, and other reasons. If you smoke, you increase your chances of developing cataracts later in life. By quitting smoking, you can reduce the risk of cataracts.


Glaucoma is a type of permanent vision loss that is caused by increased pressure inside of the eye. This damages the optic never and is irreversible. Given the heightened blood pressure associated with smoking, people who smoke are more likely to develop glaucoma than non-smokers.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD) refers to damage in the blood vessels in the central portion of the retina. This causes serious vision loss. The hypertension related to smoking can increase the risk of this condition developing, especially in lifelong smokers.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can develop in people who suffer from diabetes. This condition affects the retina and can cause vision loss. Many smokers have an increased risk of diabetes; those with diabetes who smoke will increase their risk of vision problems.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome may seem like a minor annoyance, but persistent or chronic dry eye can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Smoking or the mere presence of smoke can increase the risk of a dry eye attack occurring.

Infections of the Eyes

Smokers are more likely to suffer from infections than non-smokers. This means smokers could be at risk of common eye infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye). Smokers may also be vulnerable to more serious infections such as uveitis.

Lazy Eyes

Women who smoke while pregnant can do serious harm to their baby. Some studies have shown an increased risk of lazy eye in children who had mothers that smoked while they were pregnant.

Get Resources to Help You Quit for Good

Given all of the problems above, it's important that you consider quitting for good. This is for the sake of your vision as well as your general health. If you need help, we can assist you in finding resources that make quitting for good a reality.

Learn More About Advanced Eye Care

For more information about your eye care needs and how we can help you see clearly, be sure to contact our advanced eye care center today. Our team will help you achieve excellent vision and help make sure it lasts.

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Deen-Gross Eye Center team

Deen-Gross Eye Centers

At Deen-Gross Eye Centers in Merrillville and Hobart, IN, we provide advanced solutions in a range of specialties. Using the latest technologies and techniques, Dr. David Gross, Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, and Dr. Jamie Taffora can truly transform your vision. Our doctors are affiliated with several notable organizations, including:

  • The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • The American Osteopathic Association
  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The Indiana State Medical Association

We are available 24/7 to treat emergencies. To get in touch with us, you can request a consultation online or call (219) 769-8989.

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"After wearing glasses my entire life, Dr. Gross corrected my eyesight to better than 20/20 vision." Richard B - St. John, IN

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