Could E-Cigarette Vapor Be Harming my Eyes?
There has been a concern raised recently that e-cigarette vapor, while still safer than cigarette smoke, may have an effect on general eye health.
Specsavers is an international eyewear company, serving the UK primarily, that places an emphasis on eye health. Nigel Best is and optometrist and the clinical spokesperson for Specsavers who released a statement on the potential damage that e-cigarette vapor could do to a user.
“Although e-cigarette research is still in early stages and the long term effects are yet to be established, there are early indications that some types can cause irritation to the eyes in the form of dry eye,” Best stated.
Dry eye may sound fairly benign, but it is a genuine concern for eye health. Dry eye, especially in older people, can result in the development if age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Over time, this can cause sufferers to lose central vision, and it usually affects both eyes, Best added in his statement.
“Age-related macular degeneration affects around 600,000 people in the UK alone.” Best continued, “Smokers are more likely to form this eye condition than non-smokers. The condition is most common in people over the age of 50.”
Initially, this seems like a fairly major concern, but if you have decided to vape as a result of wanting to quit smoking you have little to worry about. E-cigarette vapor still produces a far less harmful situation than that of smoking regular cigarettes. When it comes to dry eye relating to an AMD diagnosis, it’s important to remember that a definitive link between vaping and potential eye damage has not yet in any way been proven.
Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, is full of alarms and concern when it comes to eye health, let alone overall health. Studies show smokers are three times more likely to develop AMD compared with people who never smoked. Regular cigarette smoke can not only lead to AMD, but it can also affect eye health in several other ways. Smokers are more likely to develop cataracts, which is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
Uveitis is another potential eye health risk with smoke. It is the inflammation of the eye's middle layer, known as the uvea. This inflammation is a highly serious eye condition that can result in complete vision loss. Evidence has shown that smokers are as much as two times more likely to develop uveitis than nonsmokers. Smoking also contributes to the likelihood of developing diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy and loss of vision.
While the damage that vapor can do to long term eye health has yet to be established, there does not appear to near as much concern when you compare vapor to the damage cigarette smoke can do, and that’s just when you think of your eye health alone.
Also, dry eye can be treated and soothed to lessen concerns and discomfort for smokers and vapers alike. And while there is no actual cure for dry eye syndrome the link between vaping and AMD, or even potential eyesight loss, is such a long stretch that for those wanting to improve the risk level in their life by switching from cigarette to e-cigarette should not let studies like this concern you.
No matter how scary the reports you read might try to make vaping seem, perspective is everything. When compared with cigarettes in nearly every way vaping continues to prove itself safer than the combustible cigarette model, and it appears the same will be true for your eye health as well.