Deterioration of binocular vision after alcohol intake influences driving performance PMC

The sensitivity analyses indicated that patients with OAG who had received glaucoma surgery were at higher risk of VI if they did not reduce alcohol consumption; however, the interaction effect was not evident. In addition, no apparent interaction effect with alcohol was observed for topical medication (eTable 2 in Supplement 1). It is worth noting that individuals with pre-existing vision problems, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism, may experience worsened blurry vision after consuming alcohol.

Alcohol is known to deplete certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, which are crucial for maintaining healthy vision. Therefore, individuals with macular degeneration may experience worsening vision after drinking alcohol. Further investigation focused on driving performance in people with monocular vision would be of interest. In fact, this particular driving situation could be compared to the normal binocular scenario under various experimental conditions, such as under the influence of alcohol.


It seems like a paradoxical effect, considering alcohol is a depressant that should slow down the brain’s activity rather than affecting your sight. However, the truth lies in the intricate relationship between alcohol and the various structures of our eyes. So, let’s dive into the fascinating science behind why your vision becomes blurry after a night of indulging in alcoholic beverages.

blurry vision after drinking alcohol

However, when alcohol is present in the body, it can cause the lens to become distorted, leading to blurry vision. This distortion can result in difficulty in focusing on objects and can be particularly noticeable when trying to read or perform tasks that require visual precision. As the effects of alcohol wear off, you may have trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating. Alcohol changes your brain chemistry, and when you drink heavily over a long period of time, your brain tries to adapt. If you suddenly stop drinking, your brain has to adjust again, causing these withdrawal symptoms.

Is blurry vision after drinking a temporary or long-term effect?

The alcohol-induced blurry vision typically occurs because the eye muscles responsible for focusing become less coordinated. This effect usually subsides once the alcohol is metabolized and its effects wear off. Therefore, in most cases, blurry vision after drinking alcohol is temporary and should not cause long-term consequences. Blurry vision after drinking alcohol can be a common occurrence for many individuals. It is important to understand whether this effect is temporary or if it can lead to long-term consequences.

  • We measured vergence facility following a moderate alcohol intake, which highlighted the deterioration of the ability of the fusional vergence system to change vergence demands.
  • For example, antihistamines, which are commonly used for allergies, can cause drowsiness and blurred vision.
  • This is because alcohol can cause the eye muscles to relax, leading to changes in the shape of the eye.
  • In this article, we will explore the main reasons behind experiencing blurry vision after a night of drinking.

This study represents an overview of the influence of alcohol on binocular vision and simulated driving. In fact, it is very remarkable that even a moderate dose of alcohol such as the one employed in this work, which is the legal limit for driving in 45 countries around the world, significantly diminishes binocular vision and driving capacity. Visual acuity (with a binocular vision of at least 0.5) is commonly used as a visual parameter during tests to obtain a driving license in most countries around the world14,76. In our study, for a BrAC of 0.40 mg/l, the mean binocular visual acuity remained better than 0.5, measured at 1.09. Even with this good level of binocular visual acuity, our results showed a significant impairment in binocular visual performance and driving ability.

You Spend a Lot of Time on Drinking

Toxic amblyopia was very common before World War II due to excessive drinking and tobacco use. Now the disease has become rarer and is often only seen in people suffering from alcoholism. If you are experiencing any eye problems or vision that is blurred or fuzzy, it might be time to make an appointment at Florida Eye Specialists and Cataract Institute to have a comprehensive examination. It is important to determine the cause of any vision changes; your eye doctor can treat them or send you to a specialist for further diagnosis or treatment. Importance 
Recent studies indicate that alcohol consumption is linked to increased intraocular pressure and higher prevalence of open-angle glaucoma (OAG). However, there is insufficient evidence to establish any correlation between alcohol abstinence and improved outcomes in patients with OAG.

Stereopsis is considered the most advanced state of binocular vision, contributing to seeing depth (three-dimensional perception)72. Although stereopsis is usually characterized by maximum disparity72 and stereoacuity, the latter is the main visual function used in clinical practice, and it is sensitive to ocular changes, influencing binocular visual performance73. Therefore, we consider that far stereoacuity could be considered in visual examinations for driving licenses given its widespread use to characterize binocular vision10, since it could play an essential role in driving safely.

Optic Nerve Damage

Blurred vision is a common complaint among individuals who have consumed a large amount of alcohol the night before. Although this phenomenon is temporary and typically resolves on its own, it can be quite concerning for those experiencing it. In this article, we will explore the main reasons behind experiencing blurry vision after a night of drinking. Have you ever wondered why your vision becomes blurry after a night of excessive drinking?

  • Alcohol masks unhappy emotions, so those feelings may come back when you quit drinking, making it harder to stick to your goal.
  • Undoing the effects of dehydration will also correct the problem of dry eye, which occurs when there aren’t enough tears to hydrate the eye ball.
  • We also evaluated vergence facility (VF), which assesses the ability of the fusional vergence system to respond to changes in vergence demands over time.
  • These conditions can have long-term consequences for vision and may even result in permanent vision loss.

This is in addition to the problems arising with other organs and the health of the whole body from excessive or long-term alcohol abuse. Swelling of the blood vessels in the eye or the look of red bloodshot eyes is a common feature of those who have been lifetime drinkers. Another problem that excessive drinking leads to is migraine headaches, as the eye becomes sensitive to light; the result is pain. The duration of blurry vision after drinking varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the amount of alcohol consumed and individual metabolism. In most cases, the blurry vision will subside as the alcohol is metabolized and eliminated from the body, usually within a few hours.

It is essential to understand that the occasional instance of blurry vision after drinking alcohol is likely temporary and not a cause for concern. However, if blurry vision persists or worsens over time, it is important to seek medical attention. This could indicate an underlying vision problem or the potential development of long-term complications due to alcohol abuse.