Smoking Linked to Developing CataractsKarien Venter
Smoking cigarettes has been linked to a large number of of diseases and conditions.
Now another one has been added to the list:
The increased risk of developing age related cataracts – which is considered to be the main cause for loss of vision and blindness.
A team of researchers from China set out to investigate factors contributing to the developments of cataracts. Their motivation was that, although it is possible to remove them surgically, many people simply did not have access to these services, while others with inadequate health care facilities were at risk develop complications. As such, many people, even in today’s world, suffer serious loss of vision, and many more remain blinded due to cataracts.
The research involved analysing data obtained from various continents, including Africa and Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. A number of factors were taken into account, including age, current smoker status (currently smoking, or ex-smoker), and the sub-type of cataract treated.
The results clearly showed that those that smoke and used to smoke were both facing increased risk of developing cataracts. This risk was also notably higher to those who currently smoke. Some types of cataracts were more clearly aggravated by a history of smoking than others, and this will be researched in the future – but the correlation between increased risk of developing cataracts and smoking has been proven.
Now this once again raises the following question:
How does this correlation affect those inhaling second hand smoke? It will obviously be to a lesser degree, the value of which still has to be determined. But the fact of the matter is that every other medical condition or disease caused by smoking, can also be transferred to others inhaling second hand smoke.
Ultimately it boils down to this:
Smoking cigarettes can cause heart attacks, strokes, a multitude of other problems, and now – blindness.
Is it worth it?
Decide for yourself.