More awareness needed about the effects of smoking on eye health, says Moorfields Eye Hospital

On National No Smoking Day (13 March) Moorfields is highlighting that the public’s awareness of the effects of smoking on sight and eye health are little known


More public awareness is required about the effects of smoking on people’s eye health and sight, experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital are highlighting on National No Smoking Day today (13 March).

On the annual awareness day, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, Moorfields has emphasised that more than five million adults in the UK smoke, with smoking-related disease estimated to cause around 55,000 deaths each year. 

The hospital added that whilst it is well documented that smoking causes cancer and heart disease, it would like to increase the public’s awareness of the effects of smoking on eye health and sight, which “are less widely known.”

Luke Nicholson, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, said: “In my role, I have seen the negative impact that smoking has on patients. Quitting smoking brings clear benefits to our health, but also protects our retina from developing some irreversible diseases and safeguards our vision.”

Alongside several trusts across the UK, Moorfields has made a commitment to supporting public healthcare initiatives by providing support and guidance to patients on making better lifestyle choices. Staff at the eye hospital will talk to patients about the risks of smoking to their eye health, especially those most at risk of losing their sight.

The hospital highlighted that research has shown smoking to be associated with a number of conditions which increase a person’s risk of developing sight loss, including age-related macular degeneration and cataract.