Author: James Anderson

Alcohol Effects On Eyes: Bloodshot Puffy Yellow Eyes After Drinking

alcoholic eyes

Once the person has consumed a little alcohol, the brain relaxes that control and vision problems become apparent. However, these changes will go away once the alcohol has cleared the system. Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to eye fatigue and strain, as you work to see clearly despite the negative impact on eyesight caused by drinking.

The eye muscles no longer work together effectively, and this can cause the eyes to appear crossed. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities. B vitamins also include Thiamine which is important for neurobiological health.

alcoholic eyes

When consumed in large amounts over an extended period of time, alcohol can change the health of your eyes by weakening the muscles and deteriorating parts of your brain that control sight. Addiction treatment programs like the ones at The Blackberry Center are here to help you recover from the physical and emotional pain that stems from these conditions. For example, many people have occult eye muscle imbalances, but the sober brain can preserve crisp, single vision.

Alcohol and Cataract

About one-third of people who have a history of migraines say alcohol is a trigger for their episodes.[21] A migraine can come with an aura, or changes in your vision before the pain comes. Alcohol use can alter color vision perception temporarily. If you are intoxicated, it can affect how you perceive colors. Make the connection today, we are here for you and your loved ones. Our treatment facilities offer holistic care for residents. Unfortunately, most cases of optic neuropathy are diagnosed after a possibility of recovery, meaning most cases of optic neuropathy are permanent and irreversible.

It can have both short- and long-term visual effects, including blurry vision, double vision and dry eye. Even the occasional drink can affect your eyes in some ways. Another common effect is the increased dryness in the eyes. It makes the vision distorted and further causes irritation. While some of alcohol’s effects are a temporary nuisance, others can persist when we drink heavily for a long period of time. Let’s see what these symptoms look like and get a clear vision of what an alcohol-free life can mean for our eye health.

Possible treatments include corrective lenses or glasses to correct blurred or distorted vision and use of eye drops to address bloodshot eyes. The effects may be short term, such as blurred or double vision, or they may be long term and potentially permanent. While eye issues related to alcohol abuse should be treated by an eye care specialist, the root cause of alcohol use disorder must be addressed. Without proper treatment for alcohol abuse, treatment for eye issues will be negated. After withdrawal, alcohol addiction treatment should involve therapy to address root issues that led to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol may temporarily reduce visual acuity, making it harder to focus and see clearly. To find a treatment program, browse the top-rated addiction treatment facilities in each state by visiting our homepage, or by viewing the SAMHSA Treatment Services Locator. The helpline at is available 24/7 to discuss the treatment needs of yourself or a loved one. This helpline is answered by Ark Behavioral Health, an addiction treatment provider with treatment facilities in Massachusetts and Ohio. Available information does not suggest that an occasional drink is likely to cause permanent damage to the eye, but because alcohol affects everyone differently. If there is a concern regarding alcohol-related eye damage it may be a good idea to avoid alcohol altogether.

Alcohol and optic neuropathy

If you find that a night of overindulgence leads to short-term eye issues the morning after, there are a few things you can try. While these problems are usually temporary, knowing how to address them can make all the difference in turning your day around. The Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov once said, “The tongue may hide the truth but the eyes — never! ” As humans, we start “speaking” with our eyes long before we even know what words are. From the “shared gaze” of infants and their caregivers to the connection we feel when looking into the eyes of a romantic partner, one of the main ways we connect to others is through sight. It’s no wonder that anything powerful enough to affect our body and mind — like alcohol — will leave an imprint on something as sensitive as our eyes.

  1. Tear production is one of many functions that disrupted nerve signaling can affect.
  2. Both of these can lead to the development of nutritional optic neuropathy over time.
  3. You might not see very well on your right and left sides, which can cause you to ignore objects on your sides.
  4. Sometimes medical interventions to support liver recovery and manage bilirubin levels are necessary.
  5. After drinking, tears can contain traces of alcohol, which can further trigger inflammation and cause damage to the eyes.
  6. Prenatal alcohol exposure happens when a woman consumes alcohol while pregnant.

Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect the eyes, leading to rapid eye movement, double vision, and potential blindness. Chronic alcohol consumption can contribute to dry eye syndrome, causing discomfort, irritation, and a gritty sensation in the eyes due to decreased tear production. Consuming alcohol may increase dehydration, promote inflammation, and disrupt vitamin transport — all factors that can negatively affect tear quality and quantity. Your dry eye symptoms may persist if you stop drinking or experience alcohol withdrawal. If you already live with a dry eye diagnosis, drinking alcohol may make your symptoms worse. A 2021 population-based study of more than 77,000 people found that 30% of those who consumed alcohol reported symptomatic dry eye.

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

As a result, the body is more susceptible to infections, including eye infections. The potential for damage from these infections is also higher. If you experience persistent eye problems due to alcohol consumption or have experienced significant vision changes, visit an eye care practitioner immediately. The earlier eye issues are diagnosed and alcohol use is stopped, the better the long-term prognosis. Heavy drinking also depletes the reserve of nutrients in the body that is necessary for eye health.

Alcohol and the Eye

All Addiction Resource content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible. According to a 2016 meta-analysis, alcohol can contribute to DED through multiple mechanisms and is a significant risk factor for it. Drinking alcohol may decrease the sensitivity of your peripheral vision.