Most of us are well aware of the detrimental impact alcohol abuse can have on our bodies. At the less extreme end of the spectrum we understand that being even slightly intoxicated causes blurry, distorted vision, but what are the real physiological consequences to our eyes?
Most people believe that the affects of alcohol on your vision are only temporary, and not something that should be worried about in the long term. This is in fact incorrect. If you regularly drink large volumes of alcohol, you’re at a higher risk of developing eye conditions that will alter your vision and cause permanent damage.
If you are unsure how alcohol will affect your vision, click here to view an interactive graphic that demonstrates how many standard drinks it takes for both men and women to suffer from blurry/loss of vision.
Consuming alcohol in moderation will not have any lasting negative effects on your eyes. The way your body responds to alcohol depends on the amount consumed and your tolerance threshold, but you will most likely experience some dizziness and blurry vision. These symptoms will likely stop shortly after a drinking episode if you do not consume too heavily.
If you regularly drink large volumes of alcohol, you’re at a higher risk of developing eye conditions that will alter your vision and cause permanent damage. Repeated episodes of heavy drinking puts significant strain on the liver and, just as the eye is associated with many other organs of the body, heavy drinkers will be more prone to eye conditions and declining eyesight.
Other consequences of drinking too much are:
- Sensitivity to light due to migraines
- Red or bloodshot eyes caused by alcohol swelling the blood vessels in your eyes
- Rapid eye movement – an involuntarily movement back and forth
You can avoid these side-effects by drinking occasionally and in moderation. Pace yourself (it is recommended to limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per hour), never drink on an empty stomach and consume plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks in order to prevent intoxication.
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