Most people enjoy a drink every now and then. And in moderation, drinking alcoholic beverages is generally safe for your eyes. However, drinking too much alcohol has both short term and long term consequences on your eye health.
Short Term Consequences of Alcohol on Eye Health
Acute effects of alcohol consumption include dry, red, and itchy eyes due to dehydration. Becoming inebriated can also cause:
- blurry vision
- difficulty focusing
- double vision
- tunnel vision (decreased peripheral vision)
While these short term consequences will resolve on their own once as the alcohol leaves your system, the long term effects of alcohol abuse are far more concerning.
Long Term Consequences of Alcohol on Eye Health
Chronic alcohol use increases the risk of cataract formation. Malnutrition is common in those who drink an excess of alcohol. It robs the eyes of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, which is important to maintaining night vision.
Excessive alcohol intake is especially damaging to the eyes because it results in nutritional degeneration of the nervous system. Optic nerve degeneration or optic neuropathy can lead to:
- vision loss
- blind spots
- reduced color vision
Over time, the immune system becomes compromised. This makes alcohol abusers vulnerable to eye infections, resulting in damage to the retina or cornea.
If You Have a Drinking Problem, Get Help
If you suspect you may have a problem with alcohol abuse, don’t wait — get help. Not only will your eyes benefit, but many other aspects of your health will benefit as well.
Click the link below to learn more about your treatment options: