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Dear Patients,

We are pleased to inform you that our office is now resuming our regular business hours for appointments. Of utmost importance to us is to continue to provide exceptional eye care in an environment that is safe for our patients and entire Monji Optometry team. We have taken great measures to prepare and implement COVID-19 safety protocols guided by resources from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the California Optometric Association (COA).

We want to share our new safety practices and let you know what you will expect when you come to our office.

  • Our front door will remain locked and only opened to those with appointments. To limit the number of people, all patient encounters will be by appointment, including glasses pickups, adjustments and repairs. Our schedule has been adjusted to allow spacing of people in any given area in our office.
  • We ask that adult patients arrive alone for an appointment. Minor patients may be accompanied by one adult.
  • If you are new to our office, to help us be prepared for your arrival we ask you to submit the “Patient History Form” found on our website under “Patient Forms” before your appointment. Please don’t forget to bring your latest eyeglasses and/or contact lenses.
  • Our staff and patients are required to wear masks. When you arrive, you will be asked COVID-19 screening questions and your temperature will be taken by a non-contact thermometer at the door. If your temperature is over 100 degrees, we will reschedule your appointment.
  • Upon entering, you will be immediately directed to wash your hands. We are practicing safe distancing and ask that you mindfully keep a 6 foot distance between other patients.
  • Plexiglass barrier shields have been placed at our reception desk and tables for eyeglass frame selection to allow safe interaction between you and staff. Protection shields have also been outfitted on examination instruments.
  • Our staff has been trained on CDC procedures to diligently keep touched surfaces, instrumentation and overall office clean and disinfected following each patient and regularly throughout each day. This includes disinfecting eyeglass frames.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Best regards for your continued health and safety!

Monji Optometry

Our office is located in downtown Burbank across from the Kabuki & Shake Shack restaurants.
Call (818) 629-0229
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Home » What's New » How Smoking Impacts Vision

How Smoking Impacts Vision

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Smoking harms nearly every system in your body — including your eyes. 

Though we are all aware of the health effects associated with smoking, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and bad teeth, few know about the negative impact it can have on our vision. 

Smoking and Eye Disease 

Smoking, especially 20 cigarettes or more daily over a long period of time, can adversely impact your vision. Cigarette smoke is made up of compounds that can damage health and have been shown to cause cerebral lesions which affect the area of the brain that processes vision.

More specifically, tobacco addiction increases the risk of developing vision-robbing diseases such as macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, smoke is an irritant that can cause or exacerbate dry eye syndrome. Below we'll delve a little further into each of these conditions. 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration 

Smokers run a high risk of developing AMD, a condition that severely impairs central vision, making it difficult or impossible to read, drive, recognize faces and colors, and leads to permanent vision loss in those aged 65 or older. Fortunately, the risk can be dramatically diminished by putting an end to tobacco smoking — even if later in life. 

Cataracts

Heavy smokers double their risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of blindness. Cataracts are characterized by clouded, blurred or double vision, photophobia, and reduced night vision. However, cataract surgery is common and replaces the clouded lens with an artificial intraocular lens. 

Uveitis

Uveitis, the inflammation of the eye's central layer, is an ocular disease that can lead to blindness. This condition damages important structures of the eye, notably the iris and retina, and can lead to cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment. Smokers have a 2.2 times higher risk of developing uveitis than non-smokers. 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking raises one's risk of developing diabetes by up to 40 percent thereby increasing the risk of retinopathy as well. Diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood into the eye, which — in severe cases — can deprive the retina of oxygen and result in blindness.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition characterized by insufficient tears to keep your eye lubricated, or the tears are not composed of the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucous to maintain proper lubrication. Common symptoms include red, itchy, and gritty eyes.

Heavy smokers, and those exposed to secondhand smoke, not only double their risk of developing dry eye but also exacerbate an existing condition, especially among the contact lens wearers.

Secondhand Smoke and Eye Disease 

Secondhand smoke— which includes the smoke that emanates from the end of a cigarette as well as the smoke exhaled— is nearly as harmful to health and vision. Second-hand smoke places others' eyesight in danger, particularly in young children and infants. Furthermore, studies indicate that women who smoke during pregnancy put the newborn baby at risk of being born with eye disease or visual impairment that could affect his or her ability to learn.

Stop Smoking to Save Your Vision

The good news is that giving up smoking can have an immediate effect on your health — and it’s never too late to quit! Once the habit is broken, your body will begin to repair itself to prevent vision loss. It can be challenging to quit, as it requires dedication, support, and advanced planning. Dr. Gary Monji and the rest of the staff at Monji Optometry in Burbank care about your health and will be happy to provide any assistance or resources to help you quit smoking and improve your eye health. Keep in mind that if you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to protect your health and vision.