Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Shares Top Five Eye Diseases Smokers Are At Greater Risk Of Developing

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The Great American Smokeout event is the third Thursday of November and Dr. Stewart Shofner shares information that links smokers with an increased risk of developing eye diseases that could lead to blindness.

Smokeout Event and Vision Health
Many don't realize smoking is linked to serious eye diseases.

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center joins the American Cancer Society (ACS) Great American Smokeout event to motivate smokers to quit the nasty habit, which in turn will improve their overall health and vision. “Many patients don’t realize their smoking habit effects their vision,” says Dr. Stewart Shofner.

It is estimated that about 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. The ACS believes that by quitting for at least one day smokers will take an important step toward a healthier life.

Smoking and Eye Health
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. The more a person smokes, the higher the risks. However, after people quit smoking, these risks for eye diseases become as low as nonsmokers. To help educate and motivate smokers to quit, Dr. Stewart Shofner shares top five eye diseases smokers are at greater risk of developing.

1) Cataracts. Studies show that people who smoke double or triple their chance of forming cataracts, and the risk continues to increase the more you smoke. Studies reported by the Unite For Sight Organization show that cigarettes contribute to the formation of cataracts in two ways. First, free radicals present in tobacco smoke assault the eye directly, potentially damaging lens proteins and the fiber cell membrane in the lens. Second, smoking reduces the body's levels of antioxidants and certain enzymes, which may help remove damaged protein from the lens.

2) Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The Beaver Dam Eye Study included smokers over the course of 5 years over a 20-year period to examine the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Their research concluded that current smoking was associated with an increased risk of transitioning from minimal to moderate early AMD.

3) Retinopathy. Pregnant women who smoke increase their baby’s risk of developing retinopathy of prematurity, a potentially blinding disease. And for adults, smoking may as much as double the risk of developing diabetes. And adults with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels of the retina and can result in vision loss.

4) Uveitis. Uveitis is inflammation of the eye's middle layer (or uvea), and a serious eye disease that can result in complete vision loss if not treated immediately. The inflammation harms the vital structures of the eye, including the iris and retina and can lead to complications such as cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment.

5) Dry Eye. Smoking and second-hand smoke can cause dry eye, which is considered one of the most common problems affecting the general population and can cause problems that range in severity from mildly irritating to debilitating. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body.

About Dr. Stewart Shofner
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in Cataract and LASIK Vision Correction Surgery and Eye Disease Diagnosis and Treatment. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone who currently smokes to stop immediately to improve overall health, wellness and vision. Anyone experiencing vision impairment should contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a comprehensive exam to diagnose any eye disease or other vision issues.

About Shofner Vision Center
Our vision center offers comprehensive eye exams, complimentary LASIK exams, Cataract and LASIK vision correction surgery, dry eye treatment, and eye disease diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Shofner Vision Center’s professional staff offers the best customer care to ensure every patient is given the best experience at Shofner Vision Center. We accept most insurance plans including Medicaid and Tri-Care and also offer the most affordable Custom 3D LASIK in middle Tennessee.

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