It has been known for many years that smoking triples to quadruples one's risk of getting AMD. Smokers also get AMD an average of 5 to 10 years earlier than non-smokers and are more likely to get the more aggressive wet form of the disease.
New research from a large, government-funded study in the USA also shows that people who commence injections for wet AMD, but continue to smoke, do not respond as well to treatment. Smokers were more than twice as likely to be legally blind by 5 years, compared to non-smokers receiving injections.
Most importantly however, smokers who give up when they start injections do almost as well as non-smokers.
So the message is clear. The earlier you give up smoking the better, but it is never too late to quit.
Ref: Ying G-S et al, ARVO Poster 886-A0065, May 2017
The Health Promotion Service, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, shared with MDFA what support is available to help you quit smoking.
· Call Quitline 13 7848 (13 QUIT) for free professional quit smoking support and tools. Quitline advisors work with you to identify triggers, manage cravings and make a plan to help you quit and stay smoke free.
· Speak with your GP to find out if affordable Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and stop smoking medications are right for you. NRT and stop smoking medications can increase your chances of quitting. They are even more effective when combined with quit smoking counselling support (such as Quitline).
· Visit icanquit.com.au for more information and tools. You can join the iCanQuit community for quit smoking support and member stories.
12 October 2020
Are you at risk of AMD? Take the quiz to find out. Go to Check My Macula at www.CheckMyMacula.com.au
and in under a minute, you’ll be able to check your risk factors.