Vaping is gaining popularity, with over 10 million people worldwide using e-cigarettes or similar products.
But what many don’t know is that vaping can actually pose risks to your eye health and potentially lead to dry eye syndrome.
What Is Vaping?
For those unfamiliar with vaping, it is the inhalation of aerosol or vapor using either a battery powered e-cigarette, vape pen, or similar device. Attractive flavors like mango, apple pie, and mint are drawing the attention of both smokers and non-smokers.
Although vaping is typically promoted to help smokers kick the habit, an increasing number of non-smokers are getting hooked on vaping. And while traditional cigarettes are more harmful to your health, vaping doesn’t come without risks.
Vaping has been linked to some serious health problems and even deaths. Aside from being damaging to your heart and lungs, it can also be detrimental to your eye health.
How Vaping Can Lead to Dry Eye
Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently lubricated due to insufficient tears, poor tear quality, or environmental factors. Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include red, itchy, gritty, watery, stinging or burning eyes. In severe cases, dry eye can damage the cornea and lead to vision loss. Those with dry eye may struggle to wear contact lenses and may be prone to light sensitivity or blurred vision.
According to a study published in the Optometry and Vision Science journal, vaping can aggravate the eye’s corneal surface causing moderate-to-severe dry eye symptoms. Vaping can also exacerbate symptoms of dry eye in people who already suffer from the condition. Researchers believe that it's due to the hazardous byproducts of the chemicals in the vape’s liquid component.
The study also showed that vapers experienced a faster rate of tear breakup and tear evaporation when compared to people who don’t vape. The more severe cases of eye dryness were found in those using higher voltage when compared to those who vaped with a lower voltage.
Our Dry Eye Optometrist Can Help
If you or someone you care about is experiencing dry eye symptoms — whether it's caused by vaping or something else — we can help. Our dry eye optometrist will evaluate your eye health and offer the most effective treatment for your condition.
Suffering from dry eye? Find the relief you seek. Contact Unger Eye Care today to schedule your dry eye evaluation.
Unger Eye Care serves patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, Glen Carbon, and throughout Illinois.