The effects of smoking on dry eye symptoms

Published on
January 1, 2023

It is estimated that up to 49 million Americans suffer from dry eyes, and this trend is only expected to continue.

Dry eye is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can cause discomfort, inflammation, and vision problems. Many factors can contribute to dry eye, including age, gender, medications, and certain medical conditions. One factor that can significantly increase the risk of dry eye is smoking.

How does smoking cause dry eye?

Smoking has a negative impact on many parts of the body, including the eyes. It damages the blood vessels and tissues, including those in the eye. This can lead to decreased tear production, as well as inflammation and irritation of the eye.

In addition to the direct effects of smoking on the eyes, it can also contribute to dry eye indirectly. For example, smoking can decrease the effectiveness of some dry eye treatments, such as artificial tears. It can also increase the risk of other conditions that can cause dry eye, such as allergies and autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking

The symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking may include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Redness or swelling of the eyes
  • Discomfort or irritation when wearing contact lenses
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred or fluctuating vision
  • Excessive tearing (in some cases)

If you are a smoker and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see our doctor to determine the cause and receive proper treatment. To schedule an eye exam, please call (423) 710 3965.

Treatment options for dry eye caused by smoking

If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. However, quitting smoking can be challenging, and it is important to have a plan in place and seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare provider.

In addition to quitting smoking, there are several other treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking:

Artificial tears: These can help lubricate the eyes and provide temporary relief from dry eye symptoms.

Prescription eye drops: Some eye drops contain medications that can help improve tear production or reduce inflammation.

Punctal plugs: These small plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts to help keep tears in the eye longer.

Meibomian gland expression: This procedure involves gently massaging the glands that produce tears to improve their function.

Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier, taking breaks from screens, and blinking more frequently, can also help manage dry eye symptoms.

Schedule a dry eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga

Smoking is a major risk factor for dry eye, and it can have a negative impact on the health of the eyes. If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. In addition, there are several treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking. It is important to see our eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing dry eye, we welcome you to schedule an evaluation at Amplify EyeCare Chattanooga. Our optometrists have extensive experience, advanced technology, and provide caring service to patients from Hixson and the surrounding communities. To schedule an eye exam call us at (423) 710 3965 or Book an Appointment .


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Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

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Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

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Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

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