Alcohol Effects On Eyes: Bloodshot Puffy Yellow Eyes After Drinking

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines drinking in moderation as limiting intake to two drinks or less per day for males and one drink or less per day for females. Here are some of the most common ways that alcohol can affect the eyes. Retinal-image quality and night-vision performance after alcohol consumption. They may also be able to point you to resources to help you cut back or quit drinking to help you improve the health of your eyes and your overall well-being. Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences).

Both of these can lead to the development of nutritional optic neuropathy over time. A Journal of Ophthalmology study found that night vision gets worse after drinking in both men and women. The more alcohol the subjects drank, the worse their vision became under low-light conditions. They saw halos and starbursts, had difficulty seeing contrast, and experienced longer recovery time after a bright light was shined in their eyes.

Alcohol and cataracts

In this article, we present a review of ocular conditions related to alcohol consumption. A search of the literature published from 1952 to March 2020 was performed. The titles and abstracts were screened and the eligible studies were selected.

  • The more alcohol the subjects drank, the worse their vision became under low-light conditions.
  • These side effects can be both temporary and long term, and they range in severity.
  • Of all the people surveyed by the Office of National Statistics about their drinking habits, nearly 1 in 10 people drank alcohol on five or more days in the week leading up to being interviewed.
  • Bloodshot eyes from drinking, for example, can usually be fixed with lubricating eye drops.
  • You may think that a wild lifestyle that includes excessive drinking only affects the brain and liver, but it affects every part of the body for the worse.

You might develop a painless loss of vision, decreased peripheral vision, or reduced color vision. Additionally, repeated episodes of heavy drinking can lead to some very serious eye conditions as drinking alcohol is very hard on the liver and, surprisingly, blurry vision after drinking alcohol the liver and eyes are closely related. Everything is related in the body, which is why paying attention to your holistic health is so important. Consuming alcohol every once in a while will not have any real negative effects on your eyes.

Health Professional

In general, women are already more likely to develop dry eye than men due to natural hormone fluctuations. No reliable sourcing indicates how many people experience vision issues due to alcohol. Prevention may be the best way to improve a person’s outlook for their eyes and other aspects of mental and physical health in relation to alcohol.

  • The doctor can help diagnose an underlying condition and provide appropriate treatment.
  • Although these are only minor issues, long-term alcohol abuse can permanently damage the optic nerves, which are responsible for sending visual information from the eyes to the brain.
  • But long-term alcoholism can cause nutritional deficiencies (such as B12 and folate deficiency) and gut absorption issues.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect the eyes, leading to rapid eye movement, double vision, and potential blindness.

This can make driving very difficult since you can’t react well to headlights. BRITS taking part in Dry January this year will reap more than just the financial benefits. Health experts at Optical Express have revealed how staying off the booze in the new year can greatly impact eye health. Your blood pressure will start to lower and normalise and you might notice a slight weight loss as you cut out the empty calories.

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Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency is common among heavy drinkers and alcoholics because alcohol abuse inhibits the absorption of vitamins in the liver. Vitamin B1 is essential for many bodily functions, including eyesight. As a result, vitamin B1 deficiency can lead to weakness or paralysis of the eye muscles. It’s clear to see that frequent drinking really isn’t that rare in the UK. People are mostly aware of its negative long-term impacts when it comes to risks of liver cancer, obesity, and its addictive qualities. It’s also widely known that drinking and driving is extremely dangerous, due to the short-term effects of alcohol consumption.


Here are the most common ways in which short term alcohol abuse affects the eyes. There are many reasons to stop drinking, and damage to vision—whether short- or long-term—is one of them. 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. Alcohol abuse can also contribute to long-term changes to vision such as an increased risk of developing cataracts. Alcohol consumption impacts every function in the body, including vision.

blurry vision after drinking alcohol

As mentioned, the condition is referred to as toxic amblyopia, and it can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can have adverse health consequences whenmixed with alcohol. These medications include many popular painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol); sedative drugs such as diazepam (Valium); and cough, cold, and allergy remedies. People taking medications should read the label and package inserts for possible interactions with alcohol or other drugs, especially if they have multiple drinks on an occasion.

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