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Optometrists warn millions are putting sight at risk by continuing to smoke

2nd July 2019
Posted by Aston Avery

Most people know smoking is bad for your health but while most would cite heart disease and cancer as risks, few know that blindness and sight impairment are very real consequences of the habit.

Today, eye experts from the Association of Optometrists (AOP) warn that millions of smokers in the UK are putting themselves at increased risk of blindness or sight impairment by continuing with the habit. This comes as almost all (96%) optometrists surveyed say they examine a patient every month who has eye disease that they believe is the result of smoking.

Despite this concern among experts, only a fifth (18%) of the general population recognise the connection between eye disease and smoking. This is compared to 76% who link cancer and smoking; 66% who link it with heart disease and 64% who recognise the connection between bronchitis and smoking.

Aston spoke to Henry Leonard, Optometrist and Head of Clinical and Regulatory and Roshni Kanabar, Optometrist and Clinical & Regulatory Advisor from the Association of Optometrists to discuss the research findings and voice concerns of experts across the UK.