Smoking and vaping: NHS shows difference between the two
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Paul said: “Smoking tobacco is known and proven to have many negative effects on the body, including your eyesight.
“Smoking can increase your risk of serious eye conditions that in some cases may lead to permanent vision loss, including AMD (age related macular degeneration), cataracts and glaucoma.”
As well as long-term consequences, smoking can also cause short-term issues too.
These include dry eye syndrome, leading to painful and irritated eyes.
While smoking undoubtedly causes health problems, it isn’t alone; vaping can harm too.
Lenstore says: “Vaping causes oxidative stress in the eyes. Overtime, vaping will increase your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and even glaucoma.
“Glaucoma reduces your vision and can even result in permanent blindness if left untreated.”
However, it is important to note vaping causes much less harm than smoking; as a result, it is seen as a positive stepping stone towards quitting.
Quitting is the ultimate goal for most on this path.
Lenstore has three tips for quitting:
• Set the date
• Throw away all cigarettes and tobacco products
• Seek help from your doctor.
Lenstore recommends setting a date two weeks away as this “gives you ample time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit”.
Furthermore, on eye health they add: “If you begin to notice changes in your eyesight such as blurry spots in your central vision, needing more light to read and straight lines beginning to appear wavy, an eye exam is often the most effective method to spotting any eye diseases early.”
Eye exams can also be conducted at most local opticians.
Meanwhile, it has recently been discovered someone’s risk of a heart attack could be predicted through examining their eyes.
Researchers found information found by looking at the pattern of blood vessels in the retina could help them better identify a patient’s heart attack risk.
This analysis is then used alongside traditional factors used to measure heart attack risk to make a judgement.
Presenting author of the study, Ana Villaplana-Velasco of the University of Edinburgh said: “Strikingly, we discovered that our model was able to better classify participants with low or high MI risk in UK Biobank when compared with established models that only include demographic data.
“The improvement of our model was even higher if we added a score related to the genetic propensity of developing MI.”
It is hoped in the future a basic retinal examination could provide enough information to identify people most at risk of a heart attack.
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