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Sheffield Optometrist warns that smoking can cause blindness

With No Smoking Day on the horizon (14 March), Sheffield optometrist Alex Gage is alerting his patients to the potential dangers that smoking poses to eyesight.

Quoting information from Eye, Alex said: “Smoking is the most consistently established modifiable risk factor for macular degeneration. A large growing pool of evidence (13 published studies) confirms a significant association between smoking and macular degeneration. The risk of macular degeneration is two- to three-fold higher in current-smokers compared with never-smokers.”

With No Smoking Day on the horizon (12 March), Sheffield optometrist Alex Gage is alerting his patients to the potential dangers that smoking poses to eyesight.

Alex, who owns practices in Woodseats and Crosspool said: “Smoking is the most consistently established modifiable risk factor for macular degeneration. A large growing pool of evidence (13 published studies) confirms a significant association between smoking and macular degeneration. The risk of macular degeneration is two- to three-fold higher in current-smokers compared with never-smokers.

“Whereas people make the association between smoking and lung cancer, public awareness about the risk of eye diseases associated with smoking is very low. According to a British Journal of Ophthalmology study in 2007, only 5% of teenagers in the UK identified smoking as a cause of blindness but acknowledged that fear of blindness was a strong motivating factor in stopping smoking.”

Alex Gage will be displaying leaflets to alert his patients to the effects of smoking on eye health and to give advice on how to stop.  He will also reduce the price of either an Optos Digital Retinal Imaging scan (Crosspool) or an OCT 3D scan (Woodseats) that can pick up the earliest signs of macular change from £35 to £25 for people who book an appointment for a scan during March.

Working with the British Heart Foundation, the No Smoking Day charity aims to reduce tobacco related death and illness by motivating smokers to quit together on No Smoking Day. It also aims to extend the reach of its work by providing year–round help and support for quitters through WeQuit.co.uk, a dedicated website for people who want to quit.