SK & Associates

Your Body and Alcohol Rev James E. McDonald, C.S.C., Center for Student Well-Being University of Notre Dame

In severe cases, this can lead to blindness if left untreated. Alcohol dilates blood vessels, making the whites of your eyes appear red. This is especially noticeable in people with fair skin or light eye colors like blue or green. Also known as alcoholic eyes, bloodshot eyes can directly result from heavy drinking habits.

Is sudden blurred vision temporary?

Seek immediate medical care for sudden blurred vision — even if your blurred vision is temporary — since such vision changes can signal a serious underlying medical condition.

Alcohol can impair your vision, especially after consuming large quantities of alcohol. The time it takes for your eyesight to return to normal depends on how much alcohol you’ve consumed and how long ago it was consumed. However, some people experience permanent damage from their blurry vision. Heavy alcohol consumption could produce free radicals in the liver. There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol occasionally or in moderation.

Alcohol Consumption and Blurred or Double Vision

The brain then deciphers the information, and we “see” whatever is in front of us. Therefore, the coordination between our brain and eyes is essential. Coffee and tea are delicious brewed options you can enjoy hot or iced.

blurry vision after drinking alcohol

Now that you know what the effects of over-indulgence of alcohol and long-term excessive drinking, you will be aware of how it can affect the eye and eyesight. This is in addition to the problems arising with other organs and the health of the whole body from excessive or long-term alcohol abuse. Various studies have classified alcohol consumption differently. In this review, the concept of heavy drinking will be clarified through both quantitative and qualitative descriptions of daily alcohol consumption based on moderate or heavy alcohol abuse.

Can Alcohol Affect Your Eyesight in the Long Term?

Drinking large amounts of alcohol may temporarily but significantly increase the size of your pupils, though effects can vary from person to person. Cataracts are most common in older people, but can also occur in young adults and children. Amblyopia — often called lazy eye — is a problem that is common in children. Based on your answers, we will calculate your free
Sleep Foundation Score

and create a personalized sleep profile that includes sleep-improving products and education curated just
for you. For instance, if your eyes are misaligned, you may find that glasses, surgery, ocular rehabilitation or a combination of these solutions may help. Migraine headaches, particularly migraine with aura, can cause kaleidoscope vision.

She is a current member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the Delta Epsilon Iota Honor Society. Find out why Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute is the name more Tampa Bay residents have trusted with their eye care since 1981. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes if you work for hours at a screen. Look away for 20 seconds at a spot about 20 feet in front of you to refresh your vision.


Excessive drinking also affects the body’s absorption of vitamins, which can adversely affect the eyes. Depending on which vitamin is lacking, blurry vision after drinking alcohol it can lead to night blindness, thinning of the cornea, etc. In pregnant women, it also risks compromising the vision of the fetus.

  • Your overall responses can slow down while you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Dust, pet dander, and mold are three common allergens that can cause blurry vision.
  • The aggravated appearance is only the beginning of ocular problems chronic drinkers may cope with.

Another thing that alcohol can damage is your ability to distinguish contrast in colors. Moreover, too much drinking may also result in optic neuropathy, migraines, and rapid eye movements. A vitamin A deficiency caused by heavy alcohol consumption can cause a thinning of the cornea, corneal perforation, and dryness due to retinal damage. Fortunately, most people won’t experience these side effects. But some can develop swelling or detachment of the retina (the thin layer at the back of your eye that senses light) after drinking alcohol.

On the other hand, if you drink heavily or often, you are at a much higher risk for short-term changes in your vision as well as permanent damage. The more you drink in one sitting, the more likely it is that you will have blurry vision and dizziness. On the other hand, chronic alcohol consumption will negatively affect the entire body. For example, if you notice the whites of the eyes are turning yellow, this is actually not an eye condition.

  • Moderate drinkers should expect the effects of alcohol to wear off after a while, especially if they take proper care of their bodies after drinking.
  • This can be extremely dangerous while driving or operating machinery.
  • Fortunately, there’s no need to give up on alcohol completely as long as you pace yourself.
  • Dehydration causes dryness throughout the body, including in your eyes.

The liver refreshes red blood cells, and your eyes feel the full benefits. Healthy circulation supplies your eyes with sufficient oxygen and nutrients to fight damage and disease, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Intoxication is responsible for short-term effects such as blurred vision.

Alcohol and optic neuropathy

His vital signs were nearly normal and did not show effects of severe anticholinergic toxicity that could be treated with physostigmine. In the US alone, over 140,000 people die from excessive alcohol use – 380 deaths per day. In 2020, opioid-related deaths only surpassed alcohol deaths by seven percent.

Your pupils will also react more slowly, so they will not be able to constrict or open up as well. This can make driving very difficult since you can’t react well to headlights. Alcohol has been shown to be a trigger for severe migraine headaches in some people. It is a common trigger for people who have migraines, and alcohol can also trigger a headache for some people who don’t otherwise have migraines or headaches.

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