The compelling story below about the link between eye disease and smoking was presented at the Fulton County Board of Commissioners meeting earlier this year in conjunction with facts linking smoking, diabetes, and vision loss. Join with us as we work to close the loopholes in the Fulton County smoking regulations so that all are protected from second hand smoke.
“Although I’m now a Gwinnettian, I grew up in Fulton County’s District 4 – Commissioner Lowe’s district. My mother still owns the house I was raised in.
My father – a wonderful man who passed away 11 years ago of lung cancer – was a smoker until age 62. He stopped smoking then, but the damage from many years of smoking had already been done.
And today, my mother suffers from vision loss due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration – possibly a result of second hand smoke from my father’s cigarettes. And my siblings and I are likely candidates for this eye disease as well.”
- Barbar Myers, Former PBGA Director of Public Education
Smoking causes blindness.
Studies show a strong link between smoking and the development of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). AMD is a condition that primarily affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. It is one of the leading causes of blindness in older adults and has no cure. Studies from the American Journal of Ophthalmology found that smokers are 2 ½ times more likely to develop AMD.
Diabetics are 25x more likely to become blind.
In addition, smoking has been shown to contribute to the development of type-II diabetes as well as increase the severity of the symptoms of the disease for those who have it and continue to smoke.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness for working-aged adults. In fact, people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to become blind. The longer someone has diabetes, the greater their risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. High blood pressure and poor control of blood sugar levels also increase the risk of blindness.
As a member of the Smoke-free Coalition of Fulton County, Prevent Blindness Georgia has joined forces with others who are working to provide education about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke. We invite you to support the activities of the coalition and to invite a member of the coalition to speak at organizations that you’re a part of or at public health forums in your districts.
Learn more about this grassroots movement at www.breatheeasyfulton.org.
Filed under: Healthcare, Smoking | Tagged: AMD, Barbara Myers, diabetic retinopathy, Smoke-free Coalition of Fulton County | 1 Comment »