Drinking and Smoking: The duo lifestyles with dangerous eye and health implications


The way you live your life can have a very positive impact on your health, because the well-being of both your eyes and your body relies greatly on your social habits or lifestyle.

Smoking [ Tobacco ]

King James I of England knew that smoking was bad for your health. As far back as 1604, King James I knew the danger inherent in tobacco smoking. He wrote a treatise warning against tobacco use in 1604.

The American-Indians were believed to originate smoking. But cigarette was not used habitually or socially by the American-Indians. The American-Indians used cigarette

only for ceremonial and ritual purposes. But when European colonist picked up smoking, it became an addition. Today, cigarette is commercially produced and has become a poison we have to eat and drink. The cigarettes that are commercially produced today contain lots of additives.

Cigarette contains the following toxic components namely:

  1. Nicotine
  2. Toxic gasses
  3. Addictive chemicals
  4. Cyanide (esp. in tobacco)

The above-mentioned components are toxic to human health. This is one reason smoking has been banned in most public places in United States and some other advanced countries. The cyanide that exists in tobacco is theorized to cause depletion of vitamins in the body [producing low vitamin store and low level of sulphur – containing amino acid]

The Physicians’ Health Study is an ongoing study in America comprising of 17000 doctors from all walks of life. Their documentation so far on smoking is mind bugling. The documentation has implicated smoking as one of the major causes of cataract.

The cigarette is very rich in free radicals and other toxins. These free radicals suppress the production of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is an excellent cell membrane protector and they are essential to the eye health.

Effect of smoking on our eye and general health

  • Smoking causes wrinkles because nicotine constricts blood vessels, restrict circulation to collagen fibers.
  • Diabetic patients who are smoking are at very high risk of vascular damage.
  • Smoking also increases the risk of disease among diabetics.
  • Smoking increases the incidence of cataracts
  • Smokers are predisposed to macular degeneration
  • It contributes to the development of clogged and narrowed arteries (arteriosclerosis) especially in diabetic who smokes.
  • Smoking worsens cases of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Nicotine and caffeine reduce your immunity level thereby predispose you to diseases.
  • Heavy drinking with or without heavy smoking is most often associated with poor nutritional state. This leads to what is medically referred to as Tobacco  Amblyopia.* This is also otherwise called Nutritional Amblyopia.* This cause severe loss of central vision

Some tobaccos are known to contain cyanide. Cyanide is known to deplete vitamins in the body. This results in low vitamin store.

Drinking [ Alcohol ]

Excessive consumption of alcohol has ocular and health implications. Alcohol has damaging effect on major organs of the body: the brain, the liver and the eye.

The liver is the sentinel organ that helps to maintain normal metabolism, immunity and your sense of energy. When the liver weakens, disease appears.

Heavy drinking is most often associated with poor nutritional state. Alcohol is not only toxic to the eye but our body too. Alcohol triggers insulin release and promote fat storage in the body.

Heavy alcohol leads to Alcohol amblyopia* in the eye. Alcohol Amblyopia has the following symptoms:

  1. Loss of central vision. (due to death of retinal visual cells)
  2. Decrease tear production
  3. Loss of colour vision
  4. Drooping of the eyelids (Ptosis)
  5. Memory loss
  6. Alcohol triggers insulin production and it increase fat storage too

The above-mentioned symptoms can cause irreversible damage to the eye and body.

Professional advice

For those addicted to smoking and drinking, it is advised they go on supplements that could limit the side effects. These supplement include:

Folic acid

Thiamine tabs.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C

Adequate diet with plenty of water

Take note: For every stick of cigarette smoked, take Vitamin B most especially Vitamin B12 and 25 mg of Vitamin C. These Vitamins assist in neutralizing the free radicals and other toxins in your cigarette.

Please note: This advice is not a panacea for smoking. This is just a preventive measure. But the best preventive measure is to stay away completely from alcohol and tobacco.


The most important thing you can do now is forgive yourself and start each day anew. Stop killing yourself and forgive that your body. Appreciate yourself, and make better health your self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now begin by forgiving yourself of the past and empowering your body for the future. The journey starts with the right attitude.

Don’t wait for a medical scare to break you out of your old habit. You must form an intention to make changes in your life to improve your sight and total body health. Learn from your past but plan for future. After all, if you don’t take care of your body, where else will you live?

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