What does alcohol do to your eyes?

What does alcohol do to your eyes?

Raise your hand (or your glass) if you’ve ever asked yourself, “why do my eyes get dry when I drink alcohol?” Alcohol and dry eyes, unfortunately, go hand in hand.

Not only are you out and about into the wee hours of the evening, but your contact lenses are also uncomfortably dry, making you wish the last call would come sooner.

Excessively drinking alcohol can lead you to temporarily experience the following eye discomforts, especially if you are wearing contact lenses:

  • Dry, bloodshot eyes
  • Tired, twitchy eyes
  • Delayed Pupillary reaction time
  • Decreased sensitivity to contrast

But in the long run, through excessive drinking, you expose your eyes to a greater risk of negative long-term effects:

  • Accelerated Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Damaged eye muscles

Why alcohol makes your eyes dry

Why do your contact lenses dry up when you drink alcohol? Even a small amount of alcohol can increase and exacerbate symptoms of dry eyes with contacts.

If you are concerned that you may become dehydrated while consuming alcohol, look out for the following other symptoms linked to alcohol consumption:

  • A dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urination
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Drinking with contacts on: how to prevent risks and effects

The worst part of alcohol consumption is how you feel the next day. Besides giving you a horrible hangover, consuming too much alcohol causes your contact lenses to become extremely dry, which is a sign you are in for a rough morning ahead.

Drinking in moderation, staying hydrated with water, avoiding smoke, and applying reliable rewetting drops are ways to avoid dryness on a night out. Using contact-safe rewetting drops can help prevent irritation caused by dry eyes. Make sure to drink plenty of water before consuming alcohol to avoid dehydration. You will also want to ensure that your contact lenses are not outside their expiration date. Combining old contact lenses with dehydration is a recipe for discomfort!

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