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With review and feedback from Ophthalmologist Payal Patel, MD (Monroe)

With the holidays upon us, many people will find themselves at holiday parties, and alcohol will almost certainly be served. A small amount of alcohol in moderation will likely not cause you any problems, but too much can hurt you. In fact, if you drink the wrong kind of alcohol or too much of it over a long enough period of time, it can blind you.

What are alcohol’s short-term effects on my eyes?

Alcohol can cause several short-term effects on your eyesight. It can cause double vision, blurriness, and difficulty adjusting to brightness and light contrasts.

What are alcohol’s long-term effects on my eyes?

If you drink too much alcohol, your liver is able to process less of it. This can lead to increased toxin levels in the blood. These toxins can damage the optic nerve.

Consuming methanol is another way to damage your optic nerve. While you’re not supposed to drink methanol – ethanol is the alcohol we normally drink while methanol is used in antifreeze and paint thinner – it has been at times added to moonshine by less-than-reputable distillers. That said, consuming methanol won’t just blind you. Consuming even a small amount of it can be fatal.

Additionally, some studies have tied excess alcohol consumption to the development of cataracts.

Can eye damage be cured?

Payal Patel, MD

Heavy alcohol consumption can cause irreversible vision loss in some people, while others may regain some vision but not completely, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Payal Patel, MD, said.

“The foods and drinks we consume can have lasting effects on our body,” Dr. Patel said. “Heavy alcohol use reduces our body’s ability to absorb necessary vitamins, and resulting high toxin levels can permanently affect our vision. Moderation is key for a healthy lifestyle.”

If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, please don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. If you are concerned about any related vision loss, schedule an appointment with a CEENTA eye doctor today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with Dr. Patel? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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