Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can smoking cause cataracts to form?"
Hello. I am a 41 year old smoker just like my father. Will I get cataracts unless I stop?
While it is impossible to say that you will definitely get cataracts unless you stop smoking, we do know that smoking is a risk factor for the development of cataracts. Even more than that, we know that it is dose-dependent, meaning that the more you smoke, the more likely you are to develop cataracts. Given that you also seem to have a family history of the same, that might be another great reason to quit. More than the cataracts, however, is the myriad of other reasons to quit smoking. The cancer risk of almost every cancer escalates dramatically with the carcinogens of smoking. Heart disease rates go through the roof in smokers. Wound healing decreases dramatically. Smokers are more likely to have peripheral vascular disease. Emphysema. And thousands of other things that wouldn't even fit her. So, in short, quit smoking. It is the single best thing that you can do to improve your health. If the fear of cataracts is what makes you do it, then so be it. Speak to your primary care doctor about the appropriate vision and other screening and preventive health tests that you will need as you age. And take care of yourself by setting a quit date and sticking to it.
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