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Did You Know Drinking Too Much Affects Your Eyesight?

Did You Know Drinking Too Much Affects Your Eyesight?

Light consumption of alcohol probably will not cause major health problems, even though new research suggests drinking ‘in moderation,’ in accordance to guidelines, can still be unhealthy to some extent. Heavy drinking of alcohol can bring with it many risks. One that people don’t often consider is how visual performance is affected. Find out more about the risks associated with heavy drinking and eyesight.

Risky Business

Eyes are used more now than ever before. Multiple screens, along with television, eat up attention spans and time at work, home, and even at play. The number of hours people spend in front of a screen can harm eyesight, but excessive drinking is far more detrimental to visual health. Here are just some of the risks:

  • Decreased visual performance. Eyesight may be altered since drinking heavily impairs brain function. Blurred vision or double vision due to weakened eye muscle coordination is not uncommon, including delayed reactions while driving.
  • Slow pupil reactions: alcohol affects the speed at which the iris constricts and dilates. A driver that drinks alcohol cannot adapt as quickly to oncoming headlights. This slowed reaction time can be dangerous, even lethal.
  • Decreased peripheral vision: drinking alcohol has been shown to decrease sensitivity to peripheral vision, giving a person the perception of having tunnel vision.
  • Decreased contrast sensitivity: drinking too much can alter contrast sensitivity, or how precise a person can decipher between shades of gray. Driving in rain or fog can be much more dangerous for this reason.
  • Optic neuropathy: people who drink can develop optic neuropathy. This is a painless loss of vision, decreased peripheral vision, or reduced color vision. The vision loss may be a result of nutritional deficiency, due to the toxins in the body from alcohol.
  • Migraines: alcohol can trigger severe migraine headaches for some people. A visual aura may develop, creating blind spots, or a graying of vision or zig-zag patterns of light.
  • Eye appearance: drinking may cause eye redness, caused by blood vessels in the eyes expanding. This makes the eyes seem more prominent than they really are.

Some eye conditions are temporary due to the nature of alcohol’s toxins in the system. Other eye conditions, if left untreated, may continue to worsen or become permanent. Proper vision care is crucial if addiction to alcohol has been a challenge, including the need for frequent check ups and appropriate eyewear to reduce making the strain worse.

Recovery from addiction takes many shapes and forms. One of them is receiving the gift of restored vision. When you are able to see with new eyes, you feel better and alcohol addiction does not have the last word in your health. If you are ready to see for the first time (or first of several times) with new eyes what recovery holds, call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401