The ill effects of smoking on the lungs are widely known. Cigarette smoke contains numerous toxins that are dangerous to our body. Their carcinogenic components can lead to lung cancer. In a previous interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Dr Manoj Goel, Director & HOD – Pulmonology, Pulmonary Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, stated that smoking damages lungs in many ways, leading to loss of lung function and progressive deterioration of its quality. However, the damage from smoking is not limited to the lungs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma; Many other organs, like the heart and eyes, are also affected. Here are five health conditions, unrelated to the lungs, that can be significantly worsened by smoking.
Like your lungs, your heart is also affected by smoking. It reduces the levels of good cholesterol in the body. As a result, the high level of bad cholesterol blocks and constricts arteries, which reduces the amount of blood and oxygen reaching your heart.
As mentioned above, smoking blocks and constricts your arteries, which increases the risk of stroke. Strokes commonly happen due to clots obstructing blood flow to the brain. As a result, the brain is deprived of oxygen and can die. When a stroke occurs, it can leave you paralyzed, affect your speech and brain function, and eventually lead to death.
Also read: Can Your Lungs Self-Heal Even When You Keep Smoking? Expert Answers
Apart from the heart and arteries, smoking also damages your eyes. This may come as a surprise to many people, but in reality, smoking increases the chances of your eyes developing cataracts. Not only this, certain eye conditions that come with aging may also affect you early in life, for instance, age-related macular degeneration. Besides this, the harmful compounds found in cigarettes cause inflammation within blood vessels, leading to uveitis.
Oral Health Problems
Whatever you put in your mouth affects your teeth, gums, and oral cavity. Intake of healthy food substances leads to a healthy oral cavity, while intake of harmful substances, like chewing tobacco and smoking, lead to poor oral health. Their damage is not only restricted to teeth staining but to the extent that they interfere with your salivation process, which is crucial for the breakdown of food and elimination of harmful bacteria from the mouth. There are high chances of developing oral cancer if one keeps on smoking.
Smoking increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Smoking increases the risk of diabetes by nearly 30 to 40% compared to non-smokers. In case a person has diabetes, smoking complicates the condition, where it becomes harder to keep blood sugar levels under control. This, in turn, complicates other health conditions, leading to poor blood flow to the legs and feet, diabetic retinopathy, and even nerve damage.
Also read: Study Reveals Smoking And Lack Of Exercise Linked To Death In People With Type 2 Diabetes
The most severe effect that smoking has on the body is the development of cancer, ranging from cancer of the lungs to that of the oral cavity. One should immediately quit smoking in order to prevent these health issues. The sooner this step is taken, the better it is for your health.
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