How Does Alcohol Affect Vision and Eyesight?

This change in appearance is due to alcohol abuse swelling the tiny blood vessels in the eye, enlarging their appearance and making the eyeball look red. Rapid eye movement is another side effect that can occur in those who consume too much alcohol over a long period of time. This condition is where your eyes move involuntarily back and forth.


Many people have heard or experienced that having too much to drink can cause blurry or double vision. This is one example of a physical consequence of alcohol use on vision, but alcohol abuse affects your eyes in a number of other ways as well. In other words, while an occasional glass of wine won’t cause significant long-term damage to your health, regularly drinking too much alcohol will.

How Much Can A Person Drink Safely?

We all know alcohol can affect our bodies negatively, and these effects can be both short- and long-term. We are told to never drink and drive when we are in grade school. We’ve also seen the havoc too much alcohol can wreak on our liver later in life, if we aren’t careful. Just like anything else you put in your body, it can affect how well you see now and later in life. Your vision relies on a few different functions that your brain and eyes carry out, and alcohol impairs more than one of these functions. These are short-term effects that can begin while you are drinking, and can last for several hours afterward.

Why am I seeing things after drinking?

Alcoholic hallucinosis is a rare complication of chronic alcohol abuse characterized by predominantly auditory hallucinations that occur either during or after a period of heavy alcohol consumption. Bleuler (1916) termed the condition as alcohol hallucinosis and differentiated it from Delirium Tremens.

Only use such supplements under the advisement of your physician or nutritionist. Rinse your eyes with a solution of one-fourth of a tablespoon of baking soda in one-half of a cup of water. Between these two extremes of converse results, various epidemiological studies reported no association between alcohol and IOP elevation or glaucoma.

Short-term effects of alcohol on your vision

After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. I drink every day; on average 4 beers, and my eyes tear excessively and are very itchy. I also have problems with skin allergies and I take Claritin in the morning and evening. In some cases, methanol poisoning can occur as a result of drinking homemade alcohol or moonshine.

  • When this happens, it’s very common to experience blurred vision, and in some cases, double vision.
  • You might be wise in limiting your consumption of alcohol to special occasions, dinners, and celebrations.
  • If long term alcohol consumption continues you can develop optic neuropathy or alcohol amblyopia.
  • A driver that has been drinking alcohol cannot adapt as quickly to oncoming headlights.

We all know that and drugs can seriously affect the way a person perceives the world around him. Driving safely requires the ability hone your senses in order to clearly see, hear, and anticipate potential dangers that surround you. When one of these senses is jeopardized, you risk of getting into an accident significantly increases. Although many things can affect your senses—infections, blockages, illness, etc.—the most dangerous yet the most preventable of these sensory-depriving ailments is intoxication.

Can Alcohol Affect Your Eyesight in the Long Term?

Migraines are severe and debilitating headaches characterized by nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light, distorted vision, and seeing halos or flashes of light. Recent research has demonstrated alcohol, even in small quantities, has the potential to trigger migraines severe enough to disrupt vision. Interestingly, while alcohol has been shown to trigger migraines, doctors have not yet been able to determine exactly why this happens. The speed of constriction and dilation of the pupils can be slowed by alcohol consumption.

In addition to slowing the communication between the brain and the eyes, alcohol also decreases peripheral vision, or the ability to see out of the “corners” of your eyes. This narrowing of your field of vision, more commonly known as tunnel vision, is just one of the reasons why driving under the influence of alcohol is so dangerous. Decreasing the reaction time for the pupils to dilate, alcohol can impair the ability to see different color shades or adjust to lighting differences. Everyone has a different tolerance for alcohol; you may be different from someone else who drinks the same amount.

How may alcohol affect the eyes?

Although the negative health effects of drinking alcohol have been well established, nearly 65% of U.S. adults continue to consume alcoholic beverages on a regular basis. In addition, it may have a toxic effect, which can lead to the development of conditions that impair vision. Several other health issues can also result from long-term heavy drinking.

eye health

You may be at a higher blurry vision after drinking alcohol of developing cataracts and other eye diseases if you drink heavily. Optic neuropathy can cause loss of vision , decreased peripheral vision, and problems seeing colors. It is a more serious condition than some of the other effects described above. Overconsumption of alcohol can also result in an increased occurrence of dry eye and eyelid twitching.

Furthermore, if you or someone you know is dealing with alcohol addiction, you must talk to an addiction specialist about your treatment options. Evidence suggests that hard liquor and beer do little to reduce eye issues. In fact, the drinks seemed to lessen any positive associations when participants regularly consumed them with wine. Studies on red wine indicate that moderate consumption may correlate to ocular health benefits.