Smoking and Blindness – Strong Evidence for the Link, But Public
Kelly, S. P., 1Thornton, J., 1Lyratzopoulos,G., 1Edwards, R., 2Mitchell, P.
Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust, Bolton BL4 0JR, UK 1Evidence for Population Health Unit, School of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK 2University of Sydney Department of Ophthalmology, Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
Whilemost people andmany patients attending eye clinics recognisemany adverse health hazards of tobacco smoking,
they remain largely unaware of its link with blindness. Although smoking is associated with several eye diseases,
including nuclear cataract (w1,w2) and thyroid eye disease (w3), themost common cause of smokingrelated blindness
is age related macular degeneration, which results in severe irreversible loss of central vision. Current treatment
options are of a partial benefit to some patients only. For the effective prevention, identification of the risk factors
represents the highest priority.
smoking and blindness.