The Effects Alcohol Can Have On Your Eyes

The Effects Alcohol Can Have On Your Eyes

January 29, 2018

There are many things in our day-to-day lives that are not the best for our vision as a whole. Some are obvious, such as not wearing sunglasses in the bright sun and skipping eye exams, but there are also many activities that we may not be aware are actually harmful to our vision. One of these things is alcohol, which can have negative effects on your eyes.

Immediate/Short Term Effects

  • Lessened Sensitivity to Contrast – When alcohol is consumed, you are no longer able to distinguish between light and dark items successfully. This is one of the many reasons to not drive after drinking alcohol.
  • Slowed Pupil Reaction – The action of our irises dilating and constricting also is slowed, making it very difficult to adapt to lighting changes.
  • Dry Eyes – As little as two alcoholic drinks can increase the symptoms of dry eyes since alcohol works to dehydrate the body.

Long-Term Damage

  • Prenatal Exposure – The overall health of a developing fetus can be altered by alcohol, and this extends to the eyes as well. Infant eye problems such as underdeveloped eye nerve, eye coordination difficulty, and drooping eyelids are associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Higher Chance of Cataracts – Studies have shown a connection between alcohol consumption and the forming of cataracts.
  • High Risk of AMD – Drinking can also greatly increase your risks of developing age-related macular degeneration which can lead to vision loss later in life.
  • Tobacco-Alcohol Amblyopia – A condition that is shown to lead to vision loss called optic neuropathy is also associated with heavy drinking.
  • Vitamin Deficiency – When your body is breaking down alcohol, it is not successfully breaking down vitamins, which causes issues all over the body, in particular, the eyes.

If alcohol consumption is part of your life, it is even more important to ensure you are attending your regular eye exam to make sure your eyes remain healthy.

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