For healthy individuals, an alcoholic drink now and then will usually not cause serious harm to your eye health. You could experience some temporary effects that could affect your vision if you drink a little too much. However, you should be concerned if you consume excessive amounts of alcohol regularly because it could cause permanent damage to your eyes.

Feeling the Effects of Having a Few Drinks?

It is common to experience vision-altering effects after having a few drinks. That is just one of the reasons why you should avoid driving or operating machinery after drinking. Here are a few additional symptoms related to your eyes that you might experience:

  • Dry eyes – Drinking even a small amount of alcohol can dehydrate your body and trigger or worsen existing symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Eyelid twitching – Excessive alcohol intake could trigger an annoying, but temporary eyelid twitch.
  • Impaired pupil reaction – Drinking too much can cause the iris in your eyes to contract and dilate slower.
  • Light sensitivity – Too much alcohol could make your eyes sensitive to light and possibly trigger a migraine.
  • Damaged contrast – Excessive alcohol intake can make it difficult to distinguish objects based on how dark or light they are.

Long-Term Effects of Heavy Alcohol Use

Heavy alcohol use in the long-term can lead to serious consequences with your eye health. It increases your risk of developing cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Additional long-term conditions associated with abusing alcohol include:

  • Vitamin deficiencies that can permanently damage your vision
  • Optic neuropathy that can damage your peripheral vision and make it difficult to distinguish colors
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure that could permanently damage a baby’s vision

Using alcohol responsibly can help save your vision. But if you do drink often, it is important to keep up with your yearly eye exams to identify any vision problems early on. Contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or go online to schedule your eye exam with one of our vision professionals.