Most people are aware of the effects smoking can have on the lungs and heart, but did you know it can also seriously damage your eyes?
On the occasion of No Smoking Day (Second Wednesday in March), eye experts at UK Optical Express are warning on the shocking effects smoking can have on your eyesight, express.co.uk wrote.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, according to the NHS. Every year around 78,000 people in the UK die from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses. Smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer and can also cause a number of other cancers and lung-related conditions. It also damages the heart, increasing the risk of getting heart disease and having a heart attack or stroke.
But on top of this, people who smoke are twice more likely to lose their vision than non-smokers, warned eye care specialist Optical Express.
Smoke contains over 7,000 dangerous chemicals which, according to the eye expert, can cause uveitis — a painful condition that causes inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.
If left untreated, uveitis can progress into more serious conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ultimately blindness.
“Smoking can cause dry eyes because the tobacco and noxious particles from a cigarette irritate the protective film of the eye known as the conjunctiva,” said Stephen Hannan, clinical services director at Optical Express.
“As more and more destructive particles are let in, smokers are three times more likely to be diagnosed with cataracts.”
Cataracts cause the eyes’ crystalline lens to become cloudy, which in turn causes reduced vision.
“The harmful metals found in cigarettes not only damage the front of the eye but can severely affect the blood vessels that supply much-needed nutrients to the eye,” warned Hannan.
This is because nicotine and carbon monoxide interfere with the blood vessels, accelerating a condition called atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis causes plaque to build up in the blood vessels, preventing them from being able to supply adequate blood to the body’s organs.
If this happens in the eyes, it can lead to a change in eyesight.
Weight Loss Tips Recommended by Personal Trainers
Weight loss is something that we all struggle with. Sometimes we are successful in reducing our weight but more often than not, the number in the weighing scale slowly creeps back up. Most of us have already tried the latest diet trend in the hopes that it will lead us to a better looking us, but then, life happens and we forget that we are on a diet or that we feel frustrated with the lack of results. Still, we keep on finding ways to get rid of the excess pounds that we are carrying. With that being said, it might be a good idea for us to stop for a while and take stock of what personal trainers have got to say about losing weight. Who knows? We might pick up a thing or two about their weight loss tips that we can apply in our day to day lives. Here are some suggestions that you might want to consider.
Stay away from booze and sugar
If you really want to lose weight then ditch the sugar and booze. These two are known to be calorie-laden which is why they contribute to weight gain. If you can’t stay away from drinking alcoholic beverages, you can limit to a glass for girls and two glasses for men. As for the refined sugars, there are natural sweeteners available such as honey and stevia.
Don’t go more than 3 hours without eating
Although the exact science for this is still being studied, it appears that eating snacks in between meals can help keep your blood sugar levels steady. This means that your energy level will remain stable throughout the day and less sugar or carb binges which can cause weight gain on your part.
Mix your exercises up
Another tip that personal trainers have given with regards to losing weight is to mix your fitness routine as much as possible. Sticking to the same program for months will cause you to hit a plateau in your progress which can make you feel frustrated with the lack of improvement. A better option would be to mix your exercises so that your muscles will remain guessing as to which muscle group will be tested. The best part is that you are constantly strengthening and conditioning your muscles for a more even looking physique.
Drink plenty of water
Who would have thought that even the simplest act can do your weight loss goal a whole lot of good? Drinking water constantly can help flush the toxins from your body while ensuring that your skin remains properly hydrated. Water can also help improve digestion so that your body will be able to absorb nutrients from the food that you eat better.
These are just a few tips that you might want to consider the next time you are planning on shedding weight. What’s great about these fitness tips is that they are simple enough to follow but will get you amazing results in no time.
Study: Dietary supplements won’t help you live longer
Doctors at Tufts University in Massachusetts, the US, say it’s pretty clear that supplement use has no benefit for the general population and is not a substitute for a healthy balanced diet.
Their research found that vitamins A and K, magnesium, zinc and copper were linked to a lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke — but only when they came from foods, abc7news.com wrote.
Coauthor Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, said getting nutrients in the right quantities from food was associated with a longer life.
In fact, Zhang said some supplements even appear to have health risks. People who took high doses of calcium supplements had a 53 percent higher risk of dying from cancer than people who were not taking supplements,
However, if you have been diagnosed as deficient in a certain nutrient, don’t stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.
The research team used data from 30,000 US adults who participated in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010.
The research was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Whitening products may damage teeth:Study
Teeth whitening products – that promise to make your smile brighter – may also be causing tooth damage, a study has found.
Scientists at Stockton University in the US found that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in over-the-counter whitening strips, can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel.
The tooth is made of three layers: the outer tooth enamel, an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum.
Most studies of whitening strips have focused on tooth enamel, which contains very little protein.
The team focused on dentin, which makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein, most of which is collagen.
It is well established that hydrogen peroxide can penetrate the enamel and dentin. Previous work by the researchers showed that collagen in the dentin layer decreased when teeth were treated with whitening strips.
“We sought to further characterise what the hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen. We used entire teeth for the studies and focused on the impact hydrogen peroxide has on the proteins,” said Kelly Keenan, associate professor at Stockton University.
The researchers demonstrated that the major protein in the dentin is converted to smaller fragments when treated with hydrogen peroxide.
In additional experiments, they treated pure collagen with hydrogen peroxide and then analysed the protein using a gel electrophoresis laboratory technique that allows the protein to be visualised.
“Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments,” Keenan said in the statement.
The researchers point out that their experiments did not address whether collagen and other proteins in the teeth can be regenerated, so it is unknown if the tooth damage is permanent.
Next, they plan to further characterise the protein fragments released when collagen is treated with hydrogen peroxide and determine if hydrogen peroxide has the same impact on other proteins in the teeth.