Everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer but not many people realise that it can also potentially lead to vision loss or blindness. A study in the British Medical Journal says cigarettes increase the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD); AMD is the leading cause of adult blindness in the UK. Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers.
Although it is not painful, AMD gets progressively worst and makes it very difficult to carry out day-to-day activities such as reading or watching TV.
Treatment options for AMD are limited; however, smoking is the biggest modifiable risk factor and quitting can significantly reduce the chances of getting AMD in later life.