Smoking 'damages eyes as well as lungs'

2020/10/09 20:26

Today's Vocabulary

1. poll (n) 
a study in which people are asked for their opinions about a subject or person 

2. warn (v) 
to make someone realize a possible danger or problem, especially one in the future

3. blocked (adj) 
prevented from reaching somewhere by someone or something

4. neuropathy (n) 
damage to or disease affecting the nerves

5. optic (adj)
relating to light or the eyes

6. impact (n) 
the force or action of one object hitting another

7. statistics (n) 
a collection of numerical facts or measurements, as about people, business conditions, or weather

Smoking 'damages eyes as well as lungs'

Millions of people in the UK are putting their sight at risk by continuing to smoke, warn specialists.

Despite the clear connection, only one in five people recognise that smoking can lead to blindness, a poll for the Association of Optometrists (AOP) finds. That is because tobacco smoke can cause and worsen a number of eye conditions.

Smoking can make diabetes-related sight problems worse by damaging blood vessels at the back of the eye (the retina). Smokers are around three times more likely to get age-related macular degeneration – a condition affecting a person’s central vision, meaning that they lose their ability to see fine details.

And they are 16 times more likely than non-smokers to develop sudden loss of vision caused by optic neuropathy, where the blood supply to the eye becomes blocked. The AOP says stopping or avoiding smoking is one of the best steps you can take to protect your vision, along with having regular sight checks.

Aishah Fazlanie, Optometrist and Clinical and Regulatory Adviser for the AOP, said: “People tend to know about the link between smoking and cancer, but many people are not aware of the impact that smoking can have upon the eyes.

“Smoking increases the risk of sight-threatening conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, which is an important reason why smokers should consider quitting.”

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the proportion of current smokers has been decreasing, with the largest fall since 2011 occurring among 18 to 24-year-olds.


  1. Does smoking make you look cool? Why or why not?
  2. Are there any benefits of smoking?
  3. Should people be allowed to smoke in public? If so, where?

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

Mark Twain