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Potential Alcohol Effects on Vision & Eye Health

Long-term impairments may also include permanent blurring of vision or double vision, which are caused by the weakening of the eye muscles, resulting in a slower reaction time. Alcohol also affects the skin, brain, heart, and organs, and the severity of these conditions can range from acute to chronic. In addition to physical repercussions, people with alcoholism may also experience relationship, financial, and work or school-related struggles. The longer you avoid getting help for alcoholism, the more likely you are to suffer physically and mentally.

what is it called when your vision is blurry after drinking alcohol

This may include taking your prescribed medication and lying down in a dark and quiet room. More than 90% of people who have TBIs experience visual disturbances. Migraine headaches, particularly migraine with aura, can cause kaleidoscope vision.

Symptoms & Signs A-Z List

It can have both short- and long-term visual effects, including blurry vision, double vision and dry eye. How alcohol affects the eyes also has to do with its effects on the liver. The sclera is the white part of your eyes and yellow sclera is when the whites of your eyes turn yellow. Having yellow sclera is a common side effect of a condition called jaundice and commonly occurs in heavy drinkers.

If you’ve ever had your pupils dilated and then walked outside without sunglasses on, then you may understand how uncomfortable this can be. Blurred vision is a common symptom after a concussion due to damaged nerves and muscles around the eye. When both eyes coordinate and move inward to focus on an object, it is called convergence. When blurred vision is the result of a decrease in blood sugar, treatments include consuming foods high in fast-acting sugars. You can also take glucose tablets that will increase your blood sugar quickly.

Symptoms & Signs

When someone drinks alcohol, it slows down the rate at which neurotransmitters are firing in his or her brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that communicate information throughout the brain and the body. The delay in sending those messages means that the person’s eye muscle coordination becomes sluggish. At this point, the person experiences double vision or blurred vision. Swelling of the blood vessels in the eye or the look of red bloodshot eyes is a common feature of those who have been lifetime drinkers.

Although many studies have shown that vision loss is often caused by nutritional deficiency, some medical professionals believe that the toxic effects of alcohol can lead to this condition. There are many reasons to stop drinking, and damage to vision—whether short- or long-term—is one of them. Other effects of drinking alcohol regularly can result in dry eyes and eyelid twitching, known as myokymia. This triggers short-term inflammation and double vision that causes burning and itching of the eyes, migraines, and sensitivity to light. Long-term symptoms of this effect may cause the blood vessels in your eyes to grow, making your eyes often appear red and bloodshot. Among its short-term effects are blurred vision and double vision, which can be temporary effects of intoxication, although they typically wear off as the person sobers up or the next day.


Eye misalignment can cause episodes of visual disturbances because your eyes aren’t able to work together. Another term for eye misalignment is strabismus https://ecosoberhouse.com/ (crossed eyes). It’s why people who have had a stressful day might tell themselves that they would like to have a drink to help them unwind.

what is it called when your vision is blurry after drinking alcohol

Alcohol can trigger an immediate migraine in some people or cause a “hangover migraine” later, according to the American Migraine Foundation. Your overall responses can slow down while you are under the influence of alcohol. This means that it can take a little longer than usual for your brain to recognize what you are seeing, and it can take longer than usual for you to decide what to do about it.

It is hard to predict whether you will develop effects that harm your liver, heart, nerves, or eyes, and you can experience a combination of these. If you drink excessively, be sure to see a healthcare professional so you can get help cutting down before the effects on your health get worse. Now blurry vision after drinking alcohol that you know what the effects of over-indulgence of alcohol and long-term excessive drinking, you will be aware of how it can affect the eye and eyesight. This is in addition to the problems arising with other organs and the health of the whole body from excessive or long-term alcohol abuse.

The pupil allows light into the eye but, if the iris doesn’t contract quickly enough when exposed to bright light, it lets 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. It’s no secret that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a number of health risks, including liver damage, anemia, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Not many would think that too much alcohol could cause permanent vision damage. After a concussion, one or both eyes move outward instead of inward.

Find Help at Vertava Health

But what about the long-term effects of drinking alcohol on the eye? Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute would like you to gain some knowledge about eyes and alcohol and whether excessive drinking can lead to eye problems. The effect of alcohol on your eyes and vision depends on many factors, including how much, how often and even what you drink.

  • This often occurs after a drinking session and is present for the time during which the body recovers from a large alcohol intake.
  • Methanol is used in some hand sanitizers instead of ethyl alcohol.
  • The most common symptom of orthostatic hypotension is lightheadedness or dizziness when standing after sitting or lying down.






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