New Year, New You! | The Times

“Our eyes age like every other part of us: skin wrinkling is one thing, losing
your eyesight is something else. Imagine, for example, not being able to see
your grandchildren.
“One of the biggest risks to eyesight is smoking. It can double your risk of
losing your sight because of conditions such as cataracts and age-related
macular degeneration (AMD), one of the UK’s leading causes of sight loss.”
The Royal National Institute of Blind People says that 100 people in the UK
start to lose their sight every day, yet 50 per cent of sight loss can be
avoided – and stopping smoking is a key factor.
“So many patients just don’t realise the link between smoking and eye damage,”
Russell says. “In fact, studies have shown the link between smoking and loss
of vision is as strong as the link between smoking and cancer.”
Smoking can also exacerbate diabetesrelated sight problems and increase free
radicals, which accelerate ageing and alter the body’s ability to absorb or
extract necessary vitamins and minerals from food.
‘‘Ultra-violet (UV) sunlight can have a damaging effect on eyes so it’s
crucial that adults and children protect their eyes from the sun by wearing
good quality sunglasses,” Russell says.
“Children’s eyes are particularly susceptible, since up to 80 per cent of the
eyes’ UV exposure happens before the age of 18.”

Curated from New Year, New You! | The Times


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