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Smoking and Cataract

Cataract: An Introduction

Cataract is a specific problem in the eye in which, an opaque lining grows in the eye lens or in its envelope and causes various problems such as near sightedness (myopia). If the cataract turns worse, the victim can even become permanently blind. Loss of vision is inevitable if a person develops cataract in his eyes and does not take treatment for the same. Even on developing mild cataract, the eye lens is bound to become yellow and opaque which may further hamper the individual's perception of blue colors.

Cataract: Risk Factors

The factors responsible for developing cataracts are, namely:

  • Smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco containing substances
  • Diabetes
  • Eye strain
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Genetic Causes

Smoking and Cataract: A Review

Amongst the various risk factors of cataracts, cigarette smoking is a prominent one. The available data related to smoking and cataract point out that people who smoke cigarettes excessively (more than 15 cigarettes on a daily basis) are thrice at risk of developing cataracts in comparison to non-smokers. It has been clinically verified that cigarette smoking and the smoking of other substances lead to a substantial increase in the oxidative stress in the lens which further accelerates the development of cataract.


When tobacco smoke enters the system certain reactions occur and free radicals are produced which in turn leads to oxidative stress in the lens and the production of these free radicals further enhances the harm to lens proteins and fiber cell membranes. However researches also predict that in comparison to the smoking addicted people the men and women who have quit smoking 25 years earlier have comparatively lower risk of succumbing to eye cataract.

General Procedures To Treat Cataract ( different types of cataract treatments)

  • Cataract surgeries are most frequently used to cure cataracts.
  • Proper and well balanced diet remains effective in retarding the development of cataracts.
  • On safeguarding themselves against the attack of ultraviolet rays by using sunglasses offering ultraviolet protection, cataract patients can successfully prevent the further development of cataract.

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