The effects of smoking on dry eye symptoms

Published on
January 1, 2023

It is estimated that up to 49 million Americans suffer from dry eyes, and this trend is only expected to continue.

Dry eye is a common eye condition that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. This can cause discomfort, inflammation, and vision problems. Many factors can contribute to dry eye, including age, gender, medications, and certain medical conditions. One factor that can significantly increase the risk of dry eye is smoking.

How does smoking cause dry eye?

Smoking has a negative impact on many parts of the body, including the eyes. It damages the blood vessels and tissues, including those in the eye. This can lead to decreased tear production, as well as inflammation and irritation of the eye.

In addition to the direct effects of smoking on the eyes, it can also contribute to dry eye indirectly. For example, smoking can decrease the effectiveness of some dry eye treatments, such as artificial tears. It can also increase the risk of other conditions that can cause dry eye, such as allergies and autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking

The symptoms of dry eye caused by smoking may include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Redness or swelling of the eyes
  • Discomfort or irritation when wearing contact lenses
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred or fluctuating vision
  • Excessive tearing (in some cases)

If you are a smoker and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see our doctor to determine the cause and receive proper treatment. To schedule an eye exam, please call (562) 925-6591.

Treatment options for dry eye caused by smoking

If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. However, quitting smoking can be challenging, and it is important to have a plan in place and seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare provider.

In addition to quitting smoking, there are several other treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking:

Artificial tears: These can help lubricate the eyes and provide temporary relief from dry eye symptoms.

Prescription eye drops: Some eye drops contain medications that can help improve tear production or reduce inflammation.

Punctal plugs: These small plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts to help keep tears in the eye longer.

Meibomian gland expression: This procedure involves gently massaging the glands that produce tears to improve their function.

Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier, taking breaks from screens, and blinking more frequently, can also help manage dry eye symptoms.

Schedule a dry eye exam at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach

Smoking is a major risk factor for dry eye, and it can have a negative impact on the health of the eyes. If you are a smoker and are experiencing dry eye symptoms, quitting smoking is the most effective way to improve your symptoms and overall eye health. In addition, there are several treatment options that can help manage dry eye caused by smoking. It is important to see our eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are experiencing dry eye, we welcome you to schedule an evaluation at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach. Our optometrists have extensive experience, advanced technology, and provide caring service to patients from Bellflower and the surrounding communities. To schedule an eye exam call us at (562) 925-6591 or Book an Appointment .


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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