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Alcohol Consumption and Your Eyes

Eye Doctor in Edgewater

It’s that time of year again where people attend Christmas parties with those crazy relatives and tacky Christmas sweaters and the over-eating and drinking that accompanies it!  Some including this author tend to over indulge this time of year and the effects to our eyes is often overlooked.  Visits to the Eye Doctor in Edgewater, FL may not be as frequent when compared the family physician however, as we partake in all the holiday cheer it might not be a bad idea to make an appointment once the holidays are over especially if you are over the age of 45.

Besides the harmful damage that alcohol can do to your body systems, excessive drinking can cause permanent eye damage.

Heavy drinking and vision problems often go hand in hand, so let’s explore how alcohol abuse impacts your eyes.

  1. Muscle weakness. Alcohol weakens the muscles of the eyes and can permanently damage the optic nerve which transmits visual images to the brain. Prolonged alcohol use can cause involuntary rapid eye movement.
  2. Neurological disruptions. Alcohol slows down the communication between the eyes and the brain. This can cause double vision, decrease reaction time of pupils and impair the ability to see color shades.
  3. Unsightly appearance. Bloodshot eyes is one of the most common physical characteristics of a heavy drinker. Alcohol dilates ocular blood vessels, which makes them look larger and gives the eyes a reddish color.
  4. Sharp pain. Alcohol can make the eyes extremely sensitive to light and cause migraine headaches.

One particular disease, Optic neuropathy, also referred to as tobacco-alcohol amblyopia, occurs when people drink or smoke in excess. You might develop a painless loss of vision, decreased peripheral vision or reduced color vision. Even though studies have shown the vision loss to be a result of a nutritional deficiency, some professionals believe that the condition develops because of toxic effects of alcohol and tobacco.

As with anything else, alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation without any adverse effects to the eyesight.  Pay attention to what you are eating and drinking. If you do overeat, or over drink don’t beat yourself up. Just take a deep breath, move on, and plan to make better choices moving forward. Oh yes, one more thing don’t hesitate to contact that Eye Doctor in Edgewater FL – The Precision Eye Institute. 

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