Vision: Nystagmus could be a sign that alcohol-induced vision loss is about to strike

Although age does not show mercy to your eyes, there are also other factors that can accelerate vision loss. Worryingly, what you put in your body could have harmful effects on your eyes. However, the worst culprit that can sabotage your eyesight is alcohol. An expert shares the main symptom of alcohol poisoning that can lead to vision loss.

While drinking a glass of wine or a pint once in a while won’t send your sight down the path of destiny, drinking one glass too many may not show you the same kindness.

Mr. Shafiq Rehman, consultant eye surgeon at Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire and Manchester said: ‘If we drink too much alcohol we can develop optic nerve degeneration.

“This means vision can be affected, sometimes severely and permanently.

“The mechanics are complex but can involve direct toxicity on this nerve and depletion of essential nutrients. Vitamin B is essential for good eye health, but can be depleted by poor diet and heavy alcohol consumption.

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According to the expert, one of the main symptoms indicating that your eyes may lose sight due to alcohol is nystagmus.

Nystagmus describes a rhythmic, repetitive, involuntary movement of your eyes, the NHS Explain.

The eyes can move side to side, but sometimes they also move up and down or in a circular motion.

The person with nystagmus has no control over their eye movements, meaning both eyes can move together or independently.


Mr Rehman said: “Research shows that the main symptoms of alcohol poisoning are abnormal eye movements and acute optic neuropathy – inflammation of the optic nerve – which can lead to loss of vision.”

“There is also evidence that excessive alcohol is linked to increased risks of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, different types of optic neuropathy, impaired visual quality, retinal vascular and ocular surface disease.”

This multitude of eye problems that can be triggered by the popular drink is obviously not good news for your eye health.

Fortunately, the amount of alcohol you drink can mean the difference between a higher risk and vision loss.

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The expert said: ‘It’s definitely a risk for people with chronic alcoholism. However, even moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to significantly reduce binocular vision, so care should be taken, and this is one of the reasons drink-driving should be avoided at all costs.

“Always hydrate with plenty of water when drinking alcohol.”

The bad news is that once your eyes are affected, the damage is likely to be permanent.

Mr Rehman said: “Cases of alcohol optic neuropathy are most often permanent, although some improvement may occur within the first few months of diagnosis and with appropriate management.

“Optic nerve damage can [also] to be permanent.

The expert recommended how to keep your eyes protected and safe from this risk.

The obvious first step is to avoid too much alcohol, which is not only bad for your eyes but also for your overall health.

Mr Rehman said: ‘We recommend drinking alcohol in moderation.

“The best way to protect the eyes from any form of vision loss or vision deterioration is to attend your bi-annual eye exam at your local optician.

“Not only will they be able to test your short, medium and long sight and recommend glasses or treatment if needed, but they will also check the health of the eye and can often detect sight-threatening conditions before they even exist. have symptoms.”

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