According to a 2004 report from the Surgeon General of the United States, smoking harms nearly every organ of your body. Not only is smoking the leading cause of lung cancer, but scientists have discovered that smokers have two to three times a greater risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers. Studies have also indicated that smoking is the leading preventable cause of macular degeneration.
Nearly 440,000 annual deaths in the United States are attributed to smoking. Adults and infants exposed to second hand smoke are also at increased risk of asthma, acute respiratory infections, heart disease and lung cancer.
If you are a smoker and need help quitting, there are many resources available to you. Nicotine replacement products are sold over the counter in the form of a patch, gum and lozenge. Your primary care doctor can prescribe nicotine replacement products as well as non-nicotine medication.
If you continue to smoke, be sure to have an annual eye exam so that we may be able to help you slow the progression of macular degeneration.