El tabaquismo y la salud visual

Evitar fumar o dejar de fumar, es una de las mejores inversiones que puede hacer en su salud visual a largo plazo. Fumar en la adolescencia o de los 20 a los 30 años, aumenta sus riesgos futuros de cataratas y la degeneración macular relacionada con la edad (AMD).

El tabaco y las enfermedades visuales

Se ha demostrado que el tabaco provoca y agrava las cataratas, una opacidad del cristalino del ojo, de su cápsula o del humor vítreo (líquido gelatinoso y transparente que llena el espacio entre la superficie interna de la retina y la cara posterior del cristalino), que impide el paso de los rayos luminosos y conduce a la ceguera. Esta enfermedad es un 40% más frecuente en la población de fumadores.

Esto se debe a dos mecanismos: la acción directa de las sustancias tóxicas del humo en los ojos y la liberación en los pulmones de elementos químicos que, a través del torrente sanguíneo, llegan al globo ocular y afectan a su irrigación. La pérdida de visión está relacionada con la disminución de nutrientes y antioxidantes que genera el humo, responsables de mantener la transparencia del cristalino que, tras la oxidación, tiende a deteriorarse.

Fumar también aumenta el riesgo de enfermedades cardiovasculares que influyen indirectamente en la salud de sus ojos. Y el humo del tabaco, incluido el humo de segunda mano, es un irritante que empeora el ojo seco , una enfermedad ocular muy incómodo que es más común en las mujeres después de la menopausia.

Fumar aumenta el riesgo de pérdida grave de la visión en personas con otras enfermedades oculares. Y cuando las mujeres fuman durante el embarazo tienen más probabilidades de dar a luz prematuramente, poniendo a sus hijos en mayor riesgo de una enfermedad potencialmente cegadora llamada retinopatía del prematuro, así como otros problemas de salud.

Los fumadores tienen un 40% más de posibilidades de sufrir alguna enfermedad relacionada con los ojos y la vista. Y cuanto más fuma una persona, mayores son los riesgos. La buena noticia es que después de las personas a dejar de fumar, su riesgo para estas enfermedades de los ojos se vuelve casi tan bajo como para las personas que nunca han fumado.

En la web de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer podrás encontrar los recursos gratuitos y otros procedimientos que ofrecen para dejar de fumar.

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