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A smoke screen for danger

Sorry sight: Smoking has directly been linked to two leading causes of vision loss, macular degeneration and cataract
Dr Minija C.K
Smoking has mostly been linked to respiratory diseases, cancer of the related organs like lungs, throat, mouth, etc. and heart diseases. But smoking is equally injurious to the rest of the organs of the body. 
Usually some cancers and cardiovascular disorders are caused due to the tobacco use and smoke exposure, but we are unaware of the detrimental effect smoking can cause on our eyes and vision.
The smoke generated by smoking a cigarette, a pipe or any other tobacco products can cause severe damage to the individual who is smoking and also the people around who are exposed to that smoke.
Smoking has directly been linked to two leading causes of vision loss, macular degeneration and cataract.
Many studies have also found out that smoking contributes to a range of eye-related problems for both smokers and passive smokers, including adults and children.
Women who smoke are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at risk for developing a disease called retinopathy of prematurity which is one of the causes of vision loss in babies if not treated. 
The cigarette smoke is extremely toxic containing as many as 4,000 active compounds, including tar, polycyclic, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and heavy metals. It increases age-related eye problems like macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, dry-eye syndrome and optic neuropathy. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 65 and older.
Not just smokers, smoking can also affect non-smokers causing eye irritation and burning sensations. 
Use of tobacco is linked with many health problems. Giving up smoking and use of tobacco can not only prolong your life but your loved ones, too. 
Tips to prevent vision loss 
Quit smoking 
Eat healthy foods. Include a lot of green leafy vegetables and fruits high in vitamins C and E and beta carotene. 
Exercise regularly.
Maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.


Ways to quit

  • Eliminate triggers: The decision to quit smoking is one of the toughest situations. Ensure to thoroughly clean your house and car etc, and remove all related objects like ashtrays, cigarettes, odours etc. 
  • Rework your routine: Planning a new schedule to keep away from smoking is very important. You may have built in smoke breaks in between work hours or after dinner, etc. try avoiding the old routine which can lead to cravings. 
  • Carry a healthy snack: Substitute cigarettes with some snack like sugar-free lollipops, gum, celery or carrot sticks, sunflower seeds, some fruit etc. This may help you quit and overcome your cravings.
  • Try a cup of herbal tea: Tea acts as a major stress release. The act of brewing and sipping slowly can help in decreasing stress. 
  • Start a hobby: Develop a new pastime like running, swimming, gaming, learning music, painting or some art, etc which helps you stay focused and avoids your craving for smoking.

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