Quitting smoking may lower long-term cataract risk
The FDA has approved gels like ReSure for sealing small incisions in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, but this is a first-of-its-kind for the eye, said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation in the FDAs Center for Devices and Radiological Health. A cataract is a gradual clouding of the eye's lens that results in vision loss. Cataracts are often the result of aging, but can have other causes. According to the National Institutes of Health, by age 80, more than half of all Americans have either a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
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To see whether the same held true for men, she and her team followed the middle aged and older men participating in a larger study through surveys and surgery records. Between 1997 and 2009, the men had more than 5,700 cataract removals. Men who currently smoked more than 15 cigarettes a day had a 42 percent greater risk of having cataract surgery than men who had never smoked, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology. More than 20 years after quitting, however, men who had smoked at that rate were at 20 percent greater risk for cataract removal compared to men who never smoked. For men who had been lighter smokers, the increased risk of cataract fell more quickly after quitting, but never reached the level of those who had never smoked. These results aren't very surprising, but they are useful, especially for eye doctors, said Galor, an assistant professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami.
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