It is well known that drinking can negatively affect the body, but the first organ people think of when alcohol damaged is mentioned is usually the liver. However, alcohol can also negatively affect your eyes in a variety of ways.

First, alcohol can impair the ability of muscles to properly function. The important muscles in your eyes can thus be damaged by continued alcohol use. Alcohol can also damage nerves, including the optic nerve, which sends what you see to your brain. Alcohol can affect eye movement in a few other ways: it can cause involuntary rapid eye movement and twitching of the eyelid, or myokymia.

Importantly, alcohol use can slow the rate of pupil dilation and constriction, which can make it difficult to see because of too little or too much light. Alcohol users, even those below the legal limit, may have their ability to notice contrast lowered by as much as 30%. Even light alcohol use can cause dryness of the eyes.

When it comes to the eyes, there are more serious long-term consequences of alcohol use. Studies have shown that cataracts are more common in those with a history of high alcohol usage. Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, also has this risk factor. Alcohol blocks the ability of the liver to absorb some vitamins. A vitamin A deficiency strongly affects the corneas and retinas, putting users at risk for tearing and damage. Those who use tobacco and alcohol are at risk of tobacco-alcohol amblyopia, a variant of optic neuropathy, or loss of vision.

Finally, it is important to remember that alcohol doesn’t just affect the user–it will also affect their unborn child. Fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with many eye abnormalities: drooping eyelids, an underdeveloped optic nerve, and poor eye coordination.

Key Points:

  • 1The relationship of the nerves in all of the areas above the neck are as important as the areas of the heart and lower dorsal.
  • 2Alcohol can cause blindness as well as brain nerve corruption.
  • 3Alcohol does not improve your visual clarity even after being sober.


Alcohol weakens the muscles of the eyes and can permanently damage the optic nerve which transmits visual images to the brain.

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