The effects of smoking on dry eye symptoms

Published on
January 1, 2023

It is estimated that up to 49 million Americans suffer from dry eyes, and this trend is only expected to continue.

Dry eye is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can cause discomfort, inflammation, and vision problems. Many factors can contribute to dry eye, including age, gender, medications, and certain medical conditions. One factor that can significantly increase the risk of dry eye is smoking.

How does smoking cause dry eye?

Smoking has a negative impact on many parts of the body, including the eyes. It damages the blood vessels and tissues, including those in the eye. This can lead to decreased tear production, as well as inflammation and irritation of the eye.

In addition to the direct effects of smoking on the eyes, it can also contribute to dry eye indirectly. For example, smoking can decrease the effectiveness of some dry eye treatments, such as artificial tears. It can also increase the risk of other conditions that can cause dry eye, such as allergies and autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking

The symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking may include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Redness or swelling of the eyes
  • Discomfort or irritation when wearing contact lenses
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred or fluctuating vision
  • Excessive tearing (in some cases)

If you are a smoker and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see our doctor to determine the cause and receive proper treatment. To schedule an eye exam, please call (212) 752-6930.

Treatment options for dry eye caused by smoking

If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. However, quitting smoking can be challenging, and it is important to have a plan in place and seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare provider.

In addition to quitting smoking, there are several other treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking:

Artificial tears: These can help lubricate the eyes and provide temporary relief from dry eye symptoms.

Prescription eye drops: Some eye drops contain medications that can help improve tear production or reduce inflammation.

Punctal plugs: These small plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts to help keep tears in the eye longer.

Meibomian gland expression: This procedure involves gently massaging the glands that produce tears to improve their function.

Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier, taking breaks from screens, and blinking more frequently, can also help manage dry eye symptoms.

Schedule a dry eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

Smoking is a major risk factor for dry eye, and it can have a negative impact on the health of the eyes. If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. In addition, there are several treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking. It is important to see our eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing dry eye, we welcome you to schedule an evaluation at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan. Our optometrists have extensive experience, advanced technology, and provide caring service to patients from New York and the surrounding communities. To schedule an eye exam call us at (212) 752-6930 or Book an Appointment .

Testimonials


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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