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Alcohol’s Effects on Night Vision

Posted by admin on July 16, 2014

We all know that alcohol impairs judgment and coordination and slows reaction time.

But here is yet another reason to cut back on your alcohol consumption: A study coming out of the University of Grenada has shown that overconsumption can also adversely affect your night vision. The study examined 67 subjects who had consumed various quantities of wine. The researchers used a “halometer” visual test to determine the level of night vision disturbances and optical image quality. What they found was that the greater the breath alcohol content level, the greater the visual disturbance.

Why Alcohol Affects Vision

Alcohol disturbs the tear film that covers the surface of the eye. The ethanol (intoxicating agent) present in alcoholic drinks disturbs the outer tear film layer, causing the aqueous part of the tear to evaporate. When tear film is disturbed, the image quality that forms on the retina is also negatively affected, leading to the presence of halos and other visual disturbances in night vision.

Pre-existing Vision Conditions

Now add into the equation a pre-existing vision condition, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If your vision is already impaired due to a refractive error and you consume alcohol, the tear film disturbance combined with poor choices (such as not wearing glasses or contacts) can lead to disastrous consequences for yourself and others. LASIK vision correction in Buffalo can correct these types of refractive errors, but even having 20/20 vision will not reduce the negative effects of alcohol on your vision.

In the past, some LASIK patients also complained of night vision problems after their procedure; however, today’s LASIK technology has effectively reduced this type of complication of LASIK. To learn more about Buffalo LASIK and find out if you might be a good candidate for the procedure, contact Atwal Eye Care at 716-892-2020 or atwaleye.com. And whether or not you have LASIK, please never drink and drive. 

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