Smoking Encourages Blindness - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Smoking Encourages Blindness

    We've all heart the health risks of smoking, but a new study has added another one to the list, smoking may make you lose your sight!  The study is kind of a shocker.  It found that smokers are up to five times more liekly to develop age-related macular degeneration and that can lead to blindness. 

    Stephen Criddle, a non-smoker says, "I just figured it caused cancer and stuff like that." That's something we've known for a while, but now a study in the Medical Journal of Australia reports the 4,000 chemicals in one cigarette, all those inhaled chemicals, can cause blindness over time. Ophthalmologist Dr. Charles Cozean says, "It's gradual, each cigarette takes it's toll.  It takes that toll by constricting blood vessels. The blood vessels have a lining called endothelium, and every time you smoke a cigarette it takes a little bit of the endothelium away, and that's irreplaceable." Smoking attacks the optic nerve, destroys macular arteries, and can cause cataracts in a person's eyes. Something that makes ex-smokers glad they've stopped.

     Ex-smoker Rick Rogers says, "Smoking is bad for your health and I think it can cause quite a few things." Jack Kimes says, "I smoked for 20 years, but I had sense enough to quit. That's all I can say." The study also found the longer a person doesn't smoke, it lowers the risks they have of going blind, but some smokers aren't ready to believe it. Smoker Etta Crook says, "I don't think so, I don't think it could, but I guess that's a possibility." Like all the warnings that are already out there, smokers have different opinions over whether the possibility of going blind will make them kick the habit. Smoker LaTricia Summers says if more research is done on the study she would definitely quit. While Crook says, "No, It's a hard habit to quit, it really is." Some of the damage that smoking causes to a person's eyes can be treated, but some cannot.

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