Vaping News

Can Ecigs help beat Smoking-related Eye Problems?

Can smoking cause blindness? Is this another good reason to switch to electronic cigarettes?

Share on:
If there is any substance to the claim, doctors in India make a case for quitting smoking in order to save eyesight. India has seen a surge in the numbers of people suffering from eye-related diseases and doctors claim smoking is the biggest cause.

They lay out that several recent studies support their claim that smoking increases the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry eye syndrome, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. AMD results from damage to the central part of the retina responsible for sharp focus. Dry eye syndrome leads to eyes becoming red, swollen and irritated. Cataracts reduce the light entering the eye and reduce vision as a result. Diabetic retinopathy results from high sugar levels damaging the back of the eye. Glaucoma results from an excess of pressure building up inside the eyeball.

Mahipal Sachdev, the managing director for Delhi-based Centre for Sight, said: “One way to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration is by not smoking. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than non-smokers. Non-smokers living with smokers almost double their risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.”

“Age-related macular degeneration begins as a loss of central vision which makes it difficult to read and see fine details. Over time, vision loss increases significantly,” he added. “People who smoke in excess like 10 cigarettes a day have up to three times the risk of cataract as non-smokers. Similarly, there is a strong nexus between glaucoma and smoking.”

Sachdev ‘s warnings are echoed by ophthalmologist Ritika Sachdev, who stressed the importance for smokers to consider the apparent strong links between smoking and loss of vision: “it is important for people to either quit smoking or bring down its consumption. Not just lungs and throat but the eye nerves too get damaged in the entire process.”

She continued: “One of the major areas that needs to be emphasised for all smokers includes eating healthy. Protecting eyes starts with a healthy balanced diet. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataract due to smoking.”

America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) backs up these claims: “A leading cause of vision loss is now clearly linked to smoking. And a woman fighting to save her eyesight tells her story in CDC's new ads — with the hope of inspiring smokers to quit now.”

So can ecigs be a solution to these problems? Their efficacy in helping people quit is well accepted by informed people and anecdotal accounts demonstrate improvements in eyesight.

“Vaping has really saved my eyesight,” writes Mrs Dash. “I was diagnosed with Graves Disease last year, and now I am enjoying a 3 month (so far) remission. One of the complications of Graves Disease is Thyroid Eye Disease or TED. TED has a direct correlation to smoking cigarettes. Even though there are some patients that do get TED don’t smoke, and some smokers don’t get TED... there is a HIGH percentage of TED sufferers that have smoked or currently smoke.

I was a smoker 6 months before Graves was diagnosed. I do have mild TED right now, but my doctor says that if I hadn't quit smoking, it could have been full blown TED, resulting in some severe complications and the decline of eyesight!! I have really bad eyes to begin with, and I am very thankful that the TED (hopefully) won’t make it any worse!

As a further note, doctor also congratulated me on lowering my nicotine levels so far in the last year too!! (Heart complications from Graves is impacted by nicotine). So, my doctor is happy that I vape!”

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today