Why you Should Stop Smoking Before Cataract Surgery

By Eye Institute of Houston
March 15, 2016

The American Association of Ophthalmology estimates that cataracts are present in as many as 22 million adults over 40. Typically, cataracts are considered a problem for the elderly. In fact, statistics do show that more than fifty-percent of adults over the age of 80 have cataracts in one or both eyes. Men and women in the Houston area can discover the beneficial effects of cataract removal during a consultation at the Eye Institute of Houston.

One of the biggest factors in the development of cataracts is age. However, it is actually oxidation that breaks down the tissues that are necessary for clear vision. Oxidation may occur for a number of reasons, including chronic health problems, certain medications, stress, smoking, and sun exposure. Because the effects of oxidation are cumulative, the risk for cataracts – and several other conditions – increases with age.

How Smoking Affects the Eyes
cataractThe eyes are affected by smoking in two distinct ways. First, there are free radicals in smoke from cigarettes and other tobacco products. Free radicals are unstable molecules and atoms that weaken the protein and the vital cell membrane of the eyes’ lens. Cells and tissues in the eye are directly damaged by exposure to tobacco smoke.
Most people know that free radicals can be diminished with antioxidants. A secondary effect of tobacco is the depletion of antioxidants throughout the body, which subsequently allows oxidation to occur at a more rapid pace.

One study suggests that smoking provokes a fifty-percent increase in cataract risk. Due to the direct negative effect that smoking has on the eyes, individuals considering cataract surgery are encouraged to quit this habit.
With cataract surgery, vision can be significantly improved. The skilled team at the Eye Institute of Houston performs cataract removal after a thorough consultation and examination. The latest techniques and technologies are employed to promote the most favorable outcome of care. Patients are educated on their choices for IOL replacement. Without an intra ocular lens, thick eyeglasses would be necessary. In most cases, patients who undergo cataract removal experience a reduced reliance on corrective eyewear.

Is your vision clouded by cataracts? Call Eye Institute of Houston to explore your treatment options.

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