Vaping versus smoking, as seen through my eyes :)
by, 06-13-2012 at 12:56 AM (525 Views)
Yesterday it was difficult to read / write because I had an eye exam and everything was blurry and too bright. It's no fun driving around with your eyes dilated even with shades. Anyhow...
I wanted to share this just because, you know, we all hope vaping is better for our health... It's anectodal, so not very relevant scientifically, but extremely relevant for me.
So I've had a little high blood pressure problem found last year at some point - nothing extreme, just a bit above normal. Part of the ensuing tests included an eye appointment and they saw bad disease in blood vessels in the back of my eyes. They were concerned that it would affect my vision soon, and that it could lead to permanent problems. Needless to say it's scary. They thought it must be blood pressure related, but my blood pressure was not extremely high; I started taking a small dose of medication and that made my blood pressure normal, but the changes in the eyes were still getting worse 6 months ago when I had my last visit. I did know that smoking was probably making this worse, of course. In the past 5 months I have been vaping exclusively and yesterday I was still unsure whether it helped or not.
Oh, well - it did, as far as it appears. My eyes are almost normal, they say. All the bad stuff is healing, and the blood vessels look normal. We all know that smoking causes harm to blood vessels - not only in the eyes, but everywhere. I'm sure whatever happens in the eyes goes on in the blood vessels of your brain and heart and legs and so forth - eventually causing all the cardiovascular complications of smoking.
Science has not proven that nicotine alone causes that, but public health authorities are putting all their might into skewing the scientific data trying to convince uninformed public and decision makers that nicotine is as harmful by itself to blood vessels as smoking. This is scientifically preposterous and ethically criminal, and I don't understand why they do it. Small experimental studies have shown exposure to nicotine increases blood pressure briefly and constricts blood vessels. Others showed that in current smokers nicotine has an exaggerate effect on blood vessels and one small study actually showed that effect was not found in current non-smokers. There are no large, long term studies on the effect of nicotine alone, but there is data from the Swedish Snus cohorts showing significant reductions in cardiovascular risk with Snus users compared to smokers.
In my single case situation, it is obvious to me that switching from smoking to vaping with nicotine has resulted in a fairly rapid resolution of the problems in my eyes' blood vessels and I am very happy for giving vaping a chance in spite of the positions adopted by FDA and medical professional associations.
[originally posted here]