Author: Gary Jackson

Eyes and Alcohol: The Effects of Drinking

Long-term heavy drinking can cause interference between the brain and the eyes. It may also damage or speed up the aging of various structures inside the eye, such as the lens, retina, and optic nerve. The risk of developing age-related cataracts changes based on the amount of alcohol a person drinks. An Optometry and Vision Science study found that moderate drinking may have a protective effect against cataracts. The study also found an increased risk of developing cataracts among heavy drinkers — those who drank more than two drinks (20 grams of alcohol) a day.

  • Mean speed SD also increased in the three sections following alcohol consumption, indicating increased difficulty in maintaining a constant velocity.
  • Once the person has consumed a little alcohol, the brain relaxes that control and vision problems become apparent.
  • This article reviews how alcohol can affect vision, the possible short- and long-term effects, treatments, and more.
  • VF is defined as the number of cycles per minute (cpm) through which a stimulus can be fused based on alternating base-in (BI) and base-out (BO) prisms43.
  • Alcohol affects the central nervous system, including the optic nerves, which can lead to temporary blurred vision.

The doctor can help diagnose an underlying condition and provide appropriate treatment. The effects may be short term, such as blurred or double vision, or they may be long term and potentially permanent. They may also be able to point you to resources to help you cut back or quit drinking to help you improve the health of your eyes and your overall well-being.

How drinking can affect your eyes in the short and long term

These parameters confirmed that drivers found it harder to control the position of the car in simulated driving under the influence of alcohol. While occasional blurry vision after drinking is usually temporary and harmless, excessive and long-term alcohol consumption can lead to serious vision problems. Conditions such as alcoholic optic neuropathy and cataracts can develop over time and cause irreversible damage to the eyes. Another method to prevent blurry vision after drinking is to stay properly hydrated.

blurry vision after drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol excessively (frequently or in large amounts) can have harmful effects on your body, including your eyes. Heavy alcohol use may cause problems with your vision and overall eye health. Some temporary effects occur when you drink, and other effects take time to develop and can be permanent.

Deterioration of binocular vision after alcohol intake influences driving performance

Optimal reproducibility and accuracy was attained with a near VF test (at 40 cm) was used with a flipper prism of 3∆ BI and 12∆ BO43. We repeated the measurement of all vergence parameters three times for each participant in both baseline conditions and after alcohol consumption. The normal range of vergence facility is considered to be between 10 and 15 cpm44,45. Short-term effects may result from intoxication, which people often describe as “being drunk.” This occurs when alcohol affects the central nervous system. A person can become intoxicated even with moderate drinking and may experience temporary disturbances to their vision.

In our study, for a BrAC of 0.40 mg/l, the mean binocular visual acuity remained better than 0.5, measured at 1.09. Even with this good level of binocular visual acuity, our results showed a significant impairment in binocular visual performance and driving ability. Therefore, other binocular vision parameters should also be considered for driving license eye tests, such as stereoacuity and a complete vergence exam, to ensure individuals have a safe level of binocular vision. In this article, we present a review of ocular conditions related to alcohol consumption.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Brain?

However, there are several steps one can take to prevent or reduce the occurrence of blurry vision after drinking. It is essential to understand that the occasional instance of blurry vision after drinking alcohol is likely temporary and not a cause for concern. However, if blurry vision persists or worsens over time, it is important to seek medical attention. This could indicate an underlying vision problem or the potential development of long-term complications due to alcohol abuse.

  • In our study, for a BrAC of 0.40 mg/l, the mean binocular visual acuity remained better than 0.5, measured at 1.09.
  • Acute optic neuropathy secondary to methyl alcohol consumption is a serious ocular disease with permanent vision loss or scotoma.
  • We also evaluated vergence facility (VF), which assesses the ability of the fusional vergence system to respond to changes in vergence demands over time.

In conclusion, blurry vision after drinking alcohol is generally a temporary effect that occurs due to alcohol’s impact on the central nervous system. However, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to more severe and long-term vision-related complications. It is crucial to consume alcohol in moderation and seek medical attention if blurry vision persists or worsens. Taking care of your overall health, including your visual health, is essential for your well-being.