Surprising Ways In Which Alcohol And Smoking Can Harm Harlemites

August 12, 2023

Despite the undeniable health warnings, smoking and drinking persist as prevalent habits.

Whether it’s drinking after a long day or smoking to relieve stress, these habits have become the norm. Despite this prevalence, many people are unaware of the potential ways in which these habits can affect their health. In this article, we will look at some of the lesser-known ways alcohol and smoking can affect your health.

Smoking-Related Damage

Your smoking habit affects more than just the lungs. Let’s find out how:

1.    Worsening Eyesight

We all know that smoking damages the lungs, but it doesn’t stop there. The chemicals inside cigarettes damage your eyes, leaving them vulnerable. Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of vision loss among people aged 60 or older. And if that’s not alarming enough, smoking can also lead to Cataracts (clouding of the eye lens) and dry eye syndrome (a condition in which there is a lack of tears that causes discomfort and irritation).


2.    Hearing Loss

Smoking is significantly associated with hearing loss, as the nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke get into your ears and constrict the blood vessels, resulting in hearing loss. And the scary part is that the damage is so gradual that you probably won’t notice until it becomes significant.

3.    Erectile Dysfunction

The constriction of blood vessels from cigarette smoke is not limited to the ears. It affects the whole cardiovascular system, and besides blood circulation, smoking also disrupts the hormonal balance in the body. These two factors contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED) in male smokers. Fortunately, treatment options such as medications like Cialis and Viagra are available. These medications like Cialis contain Tadalafil, a compound proven to treat impotence. You can easily get Tadalafil online from a reputable pharmacy with a prescription.

Alcohol-Related Damage

Let’s discuss some lesser-known health problems related to drinking:

1.    Cardiovascular Problems

Alcohol is infamous for liver damage, but did you know it affects the heart too? Heavy drinking leads to alcoholic cardiomyopathy, which is the weakening of heart muscles. These weakened heart muscles struggle to pump blood, resulting in heart failure. Besides alcoholic cardiomyopathy, drinking can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), and an increased risk of strokes.

2.    Disrupts Sleep

It may seem like a glass of wine before bed can help you fall asleep, but it works the other way around. Alcohol causes insomnia, causing trouble falling and staying asleep. It makes people wake up frequently during the night and don’t get into a deep sleep.

Alcohol also relaxes the throat muscles, which results in sleep apnea. A person suffering from sleep apnea experiences air blockage during sleep that causes breathing disruptions. Besides insomnia and sleep apnea, alcohol also reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is the most restorative phase of sleep. This results in poor memory and fatigue.

3.    Memory

Consuming too much alcohol over an extended period causes short and long-term memory loss; alcohol directly affects the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory formation. With short-term memory loss, alcohol slows down nervous communication in the hippocampus. While in long-term memory loss, alcohol not only slows down but also damages the hippocampus.

Endnote

The damage from smoking and alcohol extends far beyond well-known diseases.  They can affect our vision, hearing, sexual health, heart, sleep, and memory in ways we might not expect. Remember that quitting smoking and alcohol is worth the effort. Awareness is the first step toward change, and every little step brings us closer to improved health and well-being.

This content is part of the HWM Partnership.


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