A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Can smoking cause dry eyes?

by dwasylow 6 November 2015 14:11 PM

crushed-cigarettes-in-doctors-hand
Need another reason to quit smoking? How about dry, irritated eyes? Millions of Americans suffer from dry eye syndrome, and smoking is among the leading environmental factors. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to suffer from chronic dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye syndrome results when the structures of the eye fail to produce sufficient tears – or the right mixture of tear elements – to effectively lubricate the eye surface. Dry eye symptoms include gritty feeling, redness, stinging and general discomfort among others.

As a known eye irritant, tobacco smoke can contribute to dry eye syndrome. A Banskent University study found tobacco smoke breaks down the lipid layer of tear film, leading to dry eye symptoms. The effects often extend beyond the smoker to friends and loved ones via second-hand smoke.

Of course, dryness isn’t smoking’s only negative impact on the eyes. Smokers are twice as likely to develop cataracts and three times as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, studies show smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy.

While quitting smoking may help reduce your dry eye symptoms over time, it’s a good idea to schedule an eye exam to explore the root cause of your specific dry eye ailment. Through our Dry Eye Center of Excellence, Gainesville Eye Physicians offers a number of dry eye treatments, including LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation for patients with evaporative dry eye disease.

Evaporative dry eye generally results when meibomian glands in the eyelids are blocked, preventing them from yielding necessary oils as part of tear film. With LipiFlow treatment, the physician applies controlled heat and light pressure to unclog glands and return normal function. The positive results can last up to two years.

The takeaways here are: if you smoke, quit today, and if you have dry eyes, schedule an appointment with Gainesville Eye Physicians. Our friendly staff will work with you to diagnose the cause of your dry eye symptoms and develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Contact us today at 352-373-4300. Relief from dry eyes may be just a phone call away.


Related Stories

doctor-with-cigarettes-thumnail

 What Causes Dry Eyes?

woman-putting-in-contact-lens-thumbnail

 What to Do About Dry Eyes and Contacts

 

Tags:

Categories: General

Comments (0)