Smoking and its impact on eye health seems to be one of the topics at the top of the eye health awareness agenda this year. Earlier this month, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) launched a public eye health campaign to address the link between smoking and vision loss. But what is the campaign all about, and why now?
The campaign comes off the back of the AOP’s Voice of Optometry survey results. The survey found that of the members who participated – including 1000 panel members – almost all respondents regularly see patients with a condition that can link to smoking. 97% of respondents also called for more information for patients on the impact of smoking on eye health.
Following the results of the survey the AOP has developed a national campaign, “Stub out your cigarette, not your vision”, which targets areas with a high population of smokers across the UK.
For more information on the campaign, you can visit the AOP website to download a campaign pack. The campaign is also featured on social channels. You can get involved using the hashtag #StubItOut.
Many people are aware that smoking can cause heart disease and lung cancer; however, many people don’t realise that smoking can lead to serious eye conditions and even vision loss. Studies show smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome, as well as so many other health issues. As you probably know, there are many different ways to quit smoking, and there is no one size fits all treatment to kick the habit.
The NHS SmokeFree website has helpful tools and advice to support you in quitting and staying smoke-free. Click here to go SmokeFree.
You can speak to a trained counsellor for advice on how to quit by ringing Quit on 0800 0022 00. Visit their website here.
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