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How Alcohol Affects Our Eyes

General

Dr Subodh
Dr Subodh
4 min read

Even though alcohol is legal to drink for people over the legal drinking age in India, drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol is harmful and can lead to severe physical and mental side effects. According to WHO statistics, alcoholism kills more than 2.6 lacs Indians every year.

Drinking too much affects all parts of our hearts, including the liver, heart, kidney and other parts of our bodies. The side effects of drinking too much also affect our eyes, both with short-term damage and long-term damage. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how alcohol affects our eyes.

Short-Term Side Effects of Alcohol on our Eyes

Double Vision
Side Effects of Alcohol on our Eyes

  • One of the short-term side effects of excessive drinking is blurry or double vision.
  • This side effect shows typically up around 0.08% BAC (Body Alcohol Concentration), but it may vary depending on person to person.

Red or Bloodshot Eyes
Red or Bloodshot Eyes

  • Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol often causes our eyes to become red or bloodshot.
  • This happens due to dehydration caused by alcohol, which can lead to dry eyes and also due to changes in the blood pressure that can widen our blood vessels which leads to our eyes looking red or bloodshot.

Other Short-Term Effects

  • Once a person has consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, undergoes changes in the patterns of the movement of their eyes.
  • Our pupils become dilated and stop responding to light or either move to and fro in a rapid manner which cannot be controlled when our BAC is too high, which is a warning symptom for alcohol poisoning.

Long-Term Damage Done by Alcohol to our Eyes

  • As a person keeps drinking alcohol, their liver becomes less effective in processing the substance, leading to a higher build-up of toxins in the body. This build-up affects many parts of our body, including the optic nerve, which is responsible for transferring information from our eyes to the brain. The build-up of toxins also increases the risk for macular degeneration.
  • Studies have also linked excessive alcohol intake to an increased risk of cataracts in people. Cataracts refer to a clouding of the lens in our eye, which leads to a gradual loss of vision, and if left untreated, it can lead to total blindness too.
  • Excessive drinking over a prolonged period leads to the deficiency of a substance known as thiamine, which leads to a decrease in vision of one or both of our eyes. This condition is known as toxic amblyopia.

Not Just Your Eyes

Alcoholism is a severe health condition which affects not just your eyes but your entire body in general. A lot of people in India suffer from this condition. If you or anyone you know is suffering from this problem, never be afraid to seek professional help and therapy.