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With regard to certain eye conditions, smoking can be a significant risk factor. The most common cause of blindness in the western world is age related macular degeneration. Smoking is one of the main causes in the development of this condition. The best way that one can protect oneself against this problem is by quitting smoking.

Smoking and disease
Cigarette smoking has also been intricately linked with cardiovascular disease. It speeds up the atherosclerotic plaques. Nicotine and carbon monoxide, two components in most cigarettes, are believed to be significant contributors to the loss of elasticity in ones arteries.
With regard to the eye, smoking can also have an impact. The macular area of the retina has the finest blood supply in the body. This serves to supply blood to the receptors that allow us to see minute detail clearly. Obstruction and failure of the blood supply occurs even before the effects are seen with regard to the body functions. This can lead to a gradual failure of ones vision. Scarring and severe vision loss can occur as a result of new vessel growth and leakage. For the most part, people present such symptoms at about the age of sixty five. Impairment to the eye occurs at a rate of about twelve per cent per year. Around seventy per cent of people with this condition are diagnosed as legally blind by their seventieth birthday. No medical or surgical cures for age-related macular degeneration currently exist.
There are many possible negative effects of age related macular degeneration. One might be unable to read or see details on the television or to easily recognize faces. Ones ability to drive might be adversely affected, and it might happen that one confuses medication labels. It is more likely that one will be vulnerable to falling and a loss of independence might thus occur.
Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to prevent this condition from developing completely. At the very least, quitting smoking can prolong the onset of the condition. It is important to remember that smoking is one of the biggest contributing factors in this disease, so it thus extremely vital to quit as soon as possible. There is no fully effective treatment for the condition, so prevention should be the first priority in this regard. With this in mind, quitting smoking is undoubtedly the most important thing that one can do to prevent age related macular degeneration.

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