Optometrist warns of the long-term effects drinking can have on your eyes

Doctors outline how binge drinking can cause death

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The impact of alcohol on vision and broader health can extend beyond what we feel in the moment. The blurred and double vision characteristic to drunkenness happens because the alcohol slows the communication between the eyes and the brain. Lesser known is the impairment to colour vision. Specific shades of colour become more difficult to differentiate when under the influence.

Lenstore’s expert optometrist Roshni Patel explained: “Longer-term effects of excessive drinking can cause more serious problems, including a decreased peripheral vision as well as decline in your overall sight, chronic dry eye disease, and can even see you develop eye conditions such as cataracts and AMD (age-related degeneration).”

Twitching and dryness of the eyes can result in discomfort if left without treatment.

Alcohol consumption is also associated with a great many short term risks.

Drinking is often associated with vehicle crashes, violence, and sexual risk behaviour.

When taken in moderation, the harm can be avoided or minimised.

Alcohol does the most harm to our body when taken in binges.

For this reason there are two key points of advice: to track your consumption and establish a reasonable pace where you can enjoy the buzz without becoming intoxicated.

There are helpful methods for controlling our alcohol intake that can help us to pace ourselves and track our units.

These range from using mobile apps that count alcohol units and how quickly we drink, with multiple apps able to convert between different forms of alcohol and warn you when you are going over the limits you set for yourself.

Other methods take the form of life hacks like buying your own drinks when with friends instead or ordering rounds.

We all react differently to various levels of alcohol consumption so it’s important to consider what your own recommended units are.

It is also important to eat well before drinking, and remember to stay hydrated throughout.

Alcohol can also be very dense in calories, meaning that people looking to improve their diets and fitness can often benefit from cutting back.

Scientific research that previously argued in favour of mild to moderate alcohol consumption has also been contested by new scientific evidence.

The American Centre for Disease Control states: “While some studies have found improved health outcomes among moderate drinkers, it’s impossible to conclude whether these improved outcomes are due to alcohol consumption or other differences in behaviours or genetics.”

The recommended threshold set by the CDC is two units for a man and one for a woman.

Many alcoholic support services have seen an increase in patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alcoholism can both result in and result from poor states of mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, you can find NHS supported services in your area or receive anonymous support from trained advisors online or over the phone.

Common warning signs of alcoholism include a lack of interest or enjoyment in other activities and needing to drink increasing amounts to achieve the same effect. 

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