Dr. Ozor Ibhade, a Benin-based Optometrist, has said heavy cigarette smokers and alcoholics are prone to blindness.
Ibhade noted that the condition could also result from other circumstances, including inherited genes. She explained that the eye, being one of the sensitive organs of the human body, must be given special attention.
“Regular contact with sun rays causes catarrh while smoking causes macula regeneration. Glaucoma, being a hereditary eye disease, does not give any sign before the sufferer can go blind. People are also advised to avoid looking straight at the sun rays, avoid smoking and heavy drinking habit,” the expert said.
She recommended that people could avoid being visually impairment if they know their family history and engage in regular exercises.
“In spite of these factors, one can still prevent becoming visually impaired if you know who to take care of your sight. Some of the many ways to avoid eye disease is to first know your family health history, engage in regular exercise, control of diabetics and high cholesterol”, she said.
The Optometrist added that a World Health Organization statistics shows that about 253 million people globally have visual impairment, out of which 36 million are actually blind.
“For people leaving with visual impairment, between 80 per cent and 81 per cent either have an uncorrected refractive error or unoperated catarrh.
“Statistics have also shown that people in the rural areas or low income are susceptible to visual impairment,” she added.
She also said for any human to live a better life, the eyes must be able to interprete messages sent to the brain.