The Clearview Blog

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Eyes

July 24, 2014

The Effects of Alcohol on Your EyesSource: http://pixabay.com/p-203838

Patio season is finally here and there is nothing more relaxing than having a cold beer outside under the hot sun. However, drinking alcohol may have unexpected consequences for your vision. Although blurriness and double vision are the most obvious symptoms of excessive drinking, there are also many long term effects which can negatively impact the health of your eyes. Before you decide to take advantage of the beautiful weather and grab a pitcher with some friends, you should think about what you could be doing to your vision.

 

Short Term

Light to moderate alcohol consumption will not have a long lasting impact on your eyes, but you may experience some short term effects. Alcohol delays the reaction time of your pupils by causing the iris to constrict and dilate at a slower speed. This impairs the ability of your eyes to adapt in shifting light conditions, reducing the effectiveness of your vision. You may also experience greater difficulty when differentiating objects based on lightness and darkness since drinking can reduce your ability to adjust your vision for contrast and brightness. You may also experience some more annoying side effects such as eye twitching, redness and increased dryness. Alcohol has also been associated with the triggering of migraines in some cases.

Long Term

Heavy alcohol consumption over a long period of time can increase your chance of developing many serious vision complications including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Since alcohol reduces the absorption of vitamins by the liver, it can also cause vitamin deficiencies which can result in weakened vision. If nutrients such as vitamin B1 and vitamin A are not properly absorbed by the liver, you may experience night blindness, weakened eyelids, and potential blindness due to retinal damage. Additionally, excessive drinking can sometimes lead to a condition known as optic neuropathy which causes blindness.

 

Have any more concerns about how alcohol can affect your eyesight? Let us know!