Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I See Another Reason

It's still Chantix Day 70 and Smoke-free Day 58.

As if I didn't already have plenty of reasons and then another one to stay quit, here's yet another one that was in the news yesterday: increased chance of macular degeneration times 4 for smokers.

On my list of diseases I fear, this is always one of them. Obviously any loss of vision is a very big deal with major impact on lifestyle, and this one has seemed particularly cruel to me because even if it's not completely blind, it's just blind enough to change your life in not great ways.

Sadly, those of us who have smoked any real length of time are not out of the woods, and some of the damage may already have been done even if we do quit and stay that way. This is true, of course, for plenty of diseases. As nice as it is to read about how wonderfully our bodies will be resilient enough to in many ways return to normal (and I do love reading those), it was still poison that I regularly ingested. I can't expect to walk away without any further risk as a consequence of what I did for so many years, can I? Says the article:

Smokers were about four times more likely to develop the disease than people who never smoked, and developed it an average of five years earlier, according to the study published in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

Previous smokers were three times as likely to have an advanced form of the disease than people who never smoked, the study also found. "The risk from smoking seemed to persist above that of never smokers for a considerable time after quitting smoking," the researchers wrote.

I'll still hang out and try to be in at least the little bit less likely category rather than more likely category since I can't very well go back to age 12 to undo it from there. If I could, the lecture I would give myself that I wouldn't listen to because I was too cool and too young to care would be more wasted breath, but it would be hearty, indeed! I do get to choose what I do with the next hopefully many years, and one day at a time, I'm going with smoke-free before they figure out any more badness turns out to be made more likely or worse with the smoking I no longer have to be doing, thankfully.

4 comments:

  1. I didn't know anything about this. Yet another scary thing we were doing to ourselves all those years.

    Blech! Never again.

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  2. Yep, it seems new bad things continue to be uncovered. It's rare to hear anything positive about smoking being discovered. Good to hear from you!

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  3. Lots of people in my family get this. My grandmother, who loved to read until her eyes got too bad, was nearly blind for over a decade. It's something I had basically resigned myself to...glad to hear that I have a better chance now.

    And yes, she smoked like a burning pile of tires.

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