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How Does Alcohol Influence Eyesight? | Long Island Eye Doctor

How Does Alcohol Influence Eyesight?
Michelle Zalaznick, OD

Drinking alcohol has short and long term effects on eyes. Short term effects include blurry or double vision. These usually wear off as the level of alcohol diminishes in your bloodstream. The effects are not permanent.

Cheese and wine
Excessive drinking of alcohol for long periods of time can lead to permanent disability of vision. Alcohol can decrease brain function. This can affect the ability of the eyes to function by weakening the muscles in eyes.

The pupils’ reaction to light is decreased with the excessive consumption of alcohol. This can lead to a dangerous situation at night when driving.  Also, alcohol can affect peripheral vision causing “tunnel vision”.


Alcohol makes the tears in the eyes dry up quicker than normal. This can make eyes burn, itch and feel scratchy. Alcohol consumption can cause migraine headaches. Optic Neuropathy is a serious another side effect of long term alcohol use. All of these effects are dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed over a period of time and the size and weight of the person.

If you, or someone you love has an alcohol or substance abuse problem here are some helpful resources :   If you live in Long Island call (516) 747-2606  or visit :,   If you live outside of long island call this number : 1-800-622-2255  or go to this website


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