How Can Alcohol Affect Your Eyes?

How Can Alcohol Affect Your Eyes?

Alcohol consumption can have serious health consequences, including vision loss, headaches, and even seizures. It is important to be aware of the risks associated with alcohol consumption and to seek medical attention if any of these conditions are present.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause symptoms of dry eye as well as other eye health issues like double vision. Have you ever observed that after a night of heavy drinking, your eyes appear more bloodshot? That is enlarged blood vessels, which can also result in discomfort, itching, and eye-light changes.

Alcohol is a diuretic. Consider observing the twitch of your eyelids as eye movement. That can be linked to inflammation or edema, making you more sensitive to light. While many of these symptoms are mild and normally go away, chronic alcohol misuse may cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve.

Reasons Alcohol Can Affect Your Eyes

Alcohol can indeed have an impact on your eyes. When you consume alcohol, it can lead to temporary vision changes and affect the functioning of your eyes. Here are a few ways alcohol can do so either short and long term effects:

Dryness and irritation

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which can lead to dryness and irritation in the eyes. This might make your eyes feel uncomfortable and itchy.

Blurred vision

Alcohol can affect the way your eyes focus, leading to blurred vision. This can make it difficult to see things clearly or read small text.


Alcohol can cause blood vessels in the eyes to expand, leading to redness. Bloodshot eyes are a common visual sign of alcohol consumption.

Sensitivity to light

Long term alcohol abuse can make your eyes more sensitive to light, causing discomfort when exposed to bright lights or sunlight.

It’s important to note that these effects are usually temporary and subside as the alcohol leaves your system. However, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can have more serious long-term effects on your overall eye health.

10 Tips to Help Your Eyesight Improve After Quitting Drinking

Here are 10 tips to help improve your eyesight after quitting drinking:

Eat a balanced diet: Include foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as they support eye health. Incorporate leafy greens, colorful fruits, and vegetables into your meals. Beware of nutritional deficiencies.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your eyes moisturized and prevent dryness.

Take regular breaks from screens: Give your eyes a break by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce strain.

Get regular eye exams: Schedule routine check-ups with an eye care professional to monitor your eye health and address any potential issues.

Protect your eyes from UV rays: Wear sunglasses with UV protection outdoors to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Practice good sleep habits: Aim for quality sleep as it allows your eyes to rest and rejuvenate.

Engage in eye exercises: Try simple eye exercises like focusing on distant and near objects or rolling your eyes gently to improve eye muscle strength.

Avoid smoking: Smoking can lead to various eye conditions, including macular degeneration and cataracts. Quitting smoking can help improve your eye health.

Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity and excessive weight increases the risk of developing diabetes-related eye diseases, liver damage, and high blood pressure. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to manage your weight.
Manage stress levels: High-stress levels can impact your overall health, including your eyesight. Practice stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being