Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Biochemical Mechanisms and Patient Support

Willeford, Kevin T.*; Rapp, Jerry

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31826c5df2

Abstract: A small percentage of the population associates smoking with ocular disease. Most optometrists do not stress the importance of smoking cessation to their patients, and the centrality of smoking regarding the risk for ocular disease is not emphasized in optometric education. Age-related macular degeneration has strong epidemiological associations with smoking, and so serves as an appropriate model for the adverse effects of cigarette smoke on the eye. This article aims to provide basic scientific information to optometrists and optometry students so that they can better understand the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration and provide education and support to their patients wishing to stop smoking.



Department of Biological Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry, New York, New York.

© 2012 American Academy of Optometry