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Eyes and Alcohol: The Effects of Drinking

In addition to the immediate effects felt after consuming one drink, drinking alcohol in large quantities, frequently or binge drinking can lead to long-term complications on your health. Some of these effects are temporary, while others are permanent and irreversible. Alcohol often causes drowsiness and dizziness if consumed in large quantities.

Studies have established a definitive link between excessive alcohol consumption and vision disorders such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and optic neuropathy. Moderation
When enjoyed in moderation, alcohol will not damage your eyesight on a permanent basis. There should be no long-term problems; short-term problems, however, such as blurred vision or headaches are common from overindulgence.

Dry eyes and drinking

Therefore, if the optic nerve dies, it can no longer transmit information from the eye to the brain, and we lose our vision permanently. The Mayo Clinic defines alcoholism as the “inability to control drinking due to a physical and/or emotional dependence on alcohol”. Typically this is seen in heavy drinkers or binge drinkers, however just because you are a heavy drinker or binge drinker does not necessarily mean you are an alcoholic.

Alcohol Consumption and Blurred or Double Vision

Another early sign of this disease includes colors looking dimmer or less vibrant. A doctor can provide more details about what a person can do to address their vision issues. People may also consider quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of negative effects on the eyes and other aspects of health. Long-term excessive drinking can lead to potential health issues, including problems with vision.


Eye twitching and dry eyes are just two of many other short term effects that alcohol can have on the eye (CooperVision). Although these short-term effects reduce with time, they are uncomfortable and can be quite frustrating to endure. Long-term damage includes the increased risk of cataract formation (CooperVision).

The titles and abstracts were screened and the eligible studies were selected. PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge database, Scopus, Embase, and the Cochrane Library were searched. We categorized the relationship between alcohol intake and ocular conditions by the type of ocular exposure to alcohol. The main feature of alcohol intoxication in the eye is abnormal eye movement.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects Your Eyes

Alcohol intoxication is known to cause impaired contrast sensitivity, making it all the more difficult to see properly in those difficult conditions, such as heavy rain or twilight. Besides the physical impact on the body and the body’s functions, malnutrition also causes nutritional degeneration of the nervous system. Without the proper vitamins and minerals, important nerves in the body, like the optic nerve, start to degenerate, reducing their ability to function properly. Studies show that people who consume an excessive amount of alcohol have a higher risk of cataracts forming. Many people describe cataracts as looking through a fogged-up or frosty window. Before the headache starts, many people experience a debilitating visual aura.

How long does blurry vision last after drinking?

Effect – Drinking alcohol increases blood sugar levels which can lead to blurred vision, as it causes the eye lens swells reducing your ability to see. After 24 hours of no alcohol your blood sugar levels will normalise and any vision impairment will return to normal, banishing beer goggles.

This may also give you the effect or perception of having tunnel vision. Drinking large amounts of alcohol may temporarily but significantly increase the size of your pupils, though effects can vary from person to person. Heroin is derived from morphine, an opioid drug that has long been used as an effective form of pain treatment in the United States. However, over time, the recreational potential of the drug in a more synthesized form was realized. Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today.

Bigger pupils and heavy drinking

If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol, it’s time to get help. Pick up the phone and contact one of our dedicated treatment providers today to get started with an alcohol rehabilitation program. Individuals may experience the typical blurred vision where objects, texts, or faces may be challenging to identify.

An almost ancient creation that benefits more than half of the human race today is that… Certainly, all sections of the eye are critical for viewing a conventional picture, the most fundamental layer for illusion is the retina. The retina is a bit of neural tissue that lines within the eyeball.

Heavy alcohol consumption could produce free radicals in the liver. 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.

The world health organization states that alcohol is one of the main causes of accidents on the road. The reason for this is that alcohol deteriorates vision so daily activities which require perfect vision like driving, are directly affected (Castro,2014). In surroundings of high luminance, there was also a reduction in visual discrimination, accompanied by an increase in saccades and a deterioration in contrast sensitivity (Castro,2014). Contrast sensitivity is the ability to make distinctions between different objects depending on darkness or brightness (Rosenthal,2007). As alcohol reduces the ability of the aye to adjust its vision for brightness and contrast, it is extremely dangerous for driving. A decrease in contrast sensitivity can lead to a loss of spatial awareness and mobility and increase the risk of accidents.

Alcohol-related liver disease

They don’t pose any serious long-term threats to the eyes and are considered normal. Another effect of decreased reaction times is the iris taking longer to contract, which is the process of making the pupil smaller. The pupil allows light into the eye but, if the iris doesn’t contract quickly enough when exposed to bright light, it lets blurry vision after drinking alcohol far too much light into the eye. Studies show that being at the legal driving limit in terms of blood alcohol level actually reduces the eye’s ability to adjust for brightness by 30%. Too much alcohol can also decrease your contrast sensitivity, making it more difficult for you to differentiate between multiple colours and shades.