Are you finding it hard to quit smoking? Here is one more reason why you should: a study published by the UCLA states that smoking would continue to increase the risk that a person has towards age-related macular degeneration (AMD) even after you turn 80. AMD is one the top causes of blindness in Americans aged over 65.
Dr. Anne Coleman, professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA said, “The take-home message is that it is never too late to quit smoking. We found that even older people’s eyes will benefit from kicking the habit.”
The center of the retina is progressively damaged with the onset of AMD, and is known as the macula. This part of the retina is what lets us see fine details. With the degeneration of the macula, people tend to experience a blurring of their central vision and even darkness. It also renders them unable to read, drive and sometimes even recognize people.
AMD’s top cause is age and then smoking. The study carried out by Coleman looked into finding out if age influenced the effects of smoking on AMD risk. The study was conducted amongst 1,958 women and revealed that women smokers had 11% higher rates of AMD compared to others of the same age. Women who were over 80 years of age and smoked were 5.5 times more prone to develop AMD compared to women the same and who were non-smokers.
“Age is the strongest predictor for AMD, yet most of the research in this field has been conducted in people younger than 75. Compared to those who were previously studied, our population was considerably older. This research provides the first accurate snapshot of how smoking affects AMD risk later in life,” explained Coleman.