Alcohol and your Eyesight

Alcohol and eyesight

Here is our list of short term and long term effects of drinking excessive alcohol on your eyesight.

Short Term Effects of Alcohol on your Eyesight:

1.  Weakened Visual Performance

Drinking heavily impairs the brain function which results in an modified vision.  This is due to alcohol slowing the communication between the brains neurotransmitters.  This may cause blurred vision or double vision due to weakened eye muscles hence why drivers have delayed reactions.

2.  Slow Pupil Reaction

Alcohol reduces the speed of your iris constricting and dilating with regards to different light levels surrounding them which can cause temporary blindness.  This can be an issue for drivers where headlights of oncoming cars can dazzle you.

3.  Reduced Contrast Sensitivity

When under the influence of alcohol it is more difficult to distinguish between shades of grey hence driving in foggy conditions puts lives at risk.

4.  Dry Eyes

A study by Hallym University College of Medicine confirms that drinking alcohol can increase the symptoms of dry eyes.

5.  Eye twitching

Eye twitching (myokymia) can be triggered by exccessive alcohol consumption.

6.  Migraines

Alcohol consumption can make your eyes sensitive to light which can trigger migraine headaches.

7.  Eye Appearance

You are more prone to “blood shot” eyes due to alcohol dilating the blood vessels in the eye giving a prominent red appearance.

Long Term Effects of Alcohol on your Eyesight:

1.  Increased Risk of Cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration

Numerous studies have shown that a heavy drinker is more likely to develop cataract and age related macular degeneration.

2.  Disrupted Vision due to Vitamin Deficiency

Heavy drinking can cause liver damage.  When the liver gets damaged, the body has difficulty in absorbing vitamins therefore causing vitamin deficiency.  Vitamin B1 deficiency due to alcohol intake causes paralysis and weakness of eye muscles whereas vitamin A due to excessive alcohol drinking causes reduced night vision, thinning of cornea, dry eyes and retinal damage.

3.  Optic Neuropathy

Also known as tobacco alcohol amblyopia.  Excessive drinkers can develop this condition where the optic nerve is damaged resulting in a painless loss of vision.

4.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Mothers that drink excess alcohol whilst pregnant put their babies at risk with vision difficulties.

As with all things, drink alcohol moderately and never drink and drive.  If you need any assistance with your home eyecare needs contact us today.

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