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What effect does alcohol have on our eyes?

Anyone who has ever drank too much knows it: blurred perception. But what exactly does alcohol do to our eyes? And can alcohol cause permanent visual damage?

Short-term, visual effects

  • Slower pupil reaction: Alcohol causes the iris to widen and contract much more slowly. This can be a problem especially for drunk drivers, because their eyes can not adapt quickly to oncoming headlights.
  • Reduced contrast perception:The ability to distinguish between different objects based on light and darkness is especially important when driving at dusk. This ability is affected by alcohol. A study by Western University in Ontario, Canada shows that alcohol reduces contrast perception by as much as 30 percent.
  • Eye tremors (myocymia): Eye shaking can be triggered by too much alcohol
  • Dry eye: A study by the Hallym University College of Medicine in Korea says that even a small amount of alcohol can increase the symptoms of a dry eye.

Long-term damage

  • Increased risk for cataract: Several studies have shown, according to, that in patients with high alcohol consumption, the chance of contracting cataracts is also increased.
  • Increased risk of macular degeneration : The American Optometric Association has identified a link between alcohol and age-related macular degeneration.
  • Deteriorated eyesight:A lot of alcohol affects the liver's vitamin intake - but vitamins are necessary for healthy eyesight. For example, a vitamin B1 deficiency due to alcohol consumption can cause the eye muscle to become weakened or even paralyzed. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness, dilation of the cornea, a hole in the cornea, dryness and even blindness due to retinal damage.
  • Optical neuropathy: People who drink excessively may develop optic neuropathy, which can lead to vision loss.
  • Prenatal alcohol stress: If unborn children are exposed to alcohol, their eyesight may be impaired. The Emory University School of Medicine has found that many eye problems are related to a fetal alcohol syndrome. These include underdevelopment of the optic nerve, difficulties with eye coordination, and the tendency for droopy eyelids.

Source: Eyebizz



Tips to avoid dry eyes in winter

If it is uncomfortably cold, you will of course stay in comfortably heated rooms. Understandable, but this can help you to have tired, dry eyes more often. Here are a few tips for eyeglass and contact lens wearers, how to avoid these problems during the heating season.

The tear film wets the eye surface and has an important function for the health of the eyes. With a few simple measures one can make sure that the eyes remain pleasantly moist.

Fresh air is good

The air in heated rooms is usually very dry, so that the tear film evaporates faster. Regular airing is a remedy, even better are frequent walks outside.

Turn down the circulation in the car

In the car, the air should not be heated too much, then as the air is warmer, the drier it gets. In addition, the air circulation should be set as low as possible and the air stream should not be directed directly at the eyes.

Drink a lot

Like the fresh air, adequate fluid generally contributes to a good general condition and helps to avoid dry eyes.

Do not forget to blink

In addition to heated dry rooms, computer work does not make it easier. Due to less blinking while working at the computer, the contactlens is not getting enough fluid. Also the quality of the tear film itself is turning poor and the discomfort increases. Try to blink between times quite deliberately.

Clean the eyelids gently

An important component of the tear film is the upper, oily layer. It ensures that the tear fluid does not evaporate too quickly. The oil-containing secretion is produced in the meibroma glands, which sit on the eyelid edges. Careful, gentle cleansing with warm water and subsequent massage of the eyelid, for example with a wading support, can help these glands functioning better.

In case of persistent complaints - visit an ophthalmologist

Anyone who suffers from dry eyes in the long term should consult an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists can use various examination methods to determine whether sufficient tear fluid is formed, how long the tear film is stable, and whether there is a need for treatment.

source: BVA


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