It’s well known that smoking can be associated with certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. However, many people don’t realize smoking increases the risk of many eye conditions. If you’re a smoker, the good news is by quitting you can reduce your risk of many eye diseases. Read on to learn more:

Age-related macular degeneration

Studies show smokers can have anywhere between a 3 and 6 fold increase in the risk of developing AMD compared with people who have never smoked. This disease affects the center of the retina and can cause “blind spots” in central vision. It is the leading cause of permanent vision loss among senior Americans, but quitting smoking, even in later years, can significantly reduce your risk of this disease.


Cataracts cloud the lens of the eye causing hazy vision, especially at night, and can progress to total blindness. More than half of all Americans will have a cataract by age 80, and studies show people who smoke twenty cigarettes or more a day double their chances of forming cataracts. The more you smoke, the greater the likelihood.


Uveitis (inflammation of the eye’s middle section, or uvea) may not be as well-known as cataracts or macular degeneration, but for smokers, it’s important to realize smoking is associated. Smokers have a 2.2 times greater than normal risk of having this condition which is a serious eye disease that can result in blindness.

Risks to children

It is unfortunate that many children suffer eye diseases as a result of second-hand smoking. The risk of developing allergic conjunctivitis, or an inflamed conjunctiva, increases about 20% for children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke. And women who smoke while pregnant should be aware maternal smoking is associated with a 6.55 times increased risk of strabismus, or crossed eyes, which is a leading cause of blindness in children.

Clearly, quitting smoking is a good idea when it comes to eye health, but as anyone who’s tried to kick the habit can tell you, it’s not easy. The American Cancer Society has resources to help people who want to quit:

More Blog Posts

Browse Our Products

Avaira contact lenses

Avaira family

Two-week replacement schedule, Soft and flexible for a variety of needs, Silicone hydrogel material + UV blocking*, Naturally wettable so you're less likely to need additional wetting drops
Biofinity contact lenses

Biofinity family

Monthly replacement schedule, Lenses stay moist and comfortable, Naturally wettable so you're less likely to need additional wetting drops
clariti 1 day contacts

clariti 1 day contacts

Convenient daily replacement schedule, The healthy advantages of silicone hydrogel lenses, Vision correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, Supports excellent all-day comfort, UVA and UVB protection*
Proclear contact lenses

Proclear Family

Convenient daily disposable contact lenses, Superior aspheric optic design for optimal visual sharpness, Maintain 96% hydration - even after 12 hours of wear, Designed to address discomfort from eyes

Add new comment

Your name to use for this comment.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.