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Quit smoking for your health and for your eyesight


World No Tobacco Day takes place on 31 May to raise awareness among the population of the negative factors of smoking. Smoking is a global epidemic that kills almost six million people each year. Ten per cent of them (600,000) are non-smokers who die as a result of breathing the smoke of others[1].

Everyone knows that tobacco smoke causes a great number of highly-differing pathologies: respiratory problems, cardiovascular problems, cancers etc. However, few of us are aware that tobacco also affects eyesight and does so in a particularly destructive way.

With regard to glaucoma, a variety of studies have found a significant association between high exposure to tobacco and the appearance of the disease[2], together with the possible increase of intraocular pressure in patients who smoke[3] [4]. If we add to this its harmful effect on ocular blood supply[5], which also includes the circulation of the optic nerve and its fibres (where damage by glaucoma occurs), it almost goes without saying that any patient with glaucoma should be advised to give up smoking.

You will see, therefore, that tobacco, as well as causing millions of deaths annually, can also leave us in the dark.

fumar causa ceguera



[1] World Health Organization:

[2] Renard JP et al. Nutritional, lifestyle and environmental factors in ocular hypertension and primary open-angle glaucoma: an exploratory case–control study. Acta Ophthalmologica

Volume 91, Issue 6, pages 505–513, September 2013

[3] Lee AJ, Rochtchina E, Wang JJ, Healey PR, Mitchell P. Does smoking affect intraocular pressure? Findings from the Blue Mountains eye study. J Glaucoma. 2003;12:209–212. doi: 10.1097/00061198-200306000-00005.

[4] Yoshida et al. Association of smoking with intraocular pressure in middle-aged and older Japanese residents. Environ Health Prev Med. 2014 Mar;19(2):100-7. doi: 10.1007/s12199-013-0359-1. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

[5] Robinson F, Petrig BL, Riva CE. The acute effect of cigarette smoking on macular capillary blood flow in humans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1985;26:609–613. [PubMed]


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Last modified: 25 November, 2020 - 13:28