How does alcohol impact your eyesight? Try this vision-boosting mocktail recipe
25 January 2022
Could Dry January save your vision?
A massive 8 million people are thought to have attempted to complete ‘Dry January’ this year. For those unfamiliar with the term, Dry January is simply where you forgo alcohol for the first month of the year. It’s often touted as a way to recover from the excess of the festive season, or even just attempted as a challenge to see if you can avoid temptation.
We’re often taught in school about the negative impacts of drinking on your liver, but did you know it can also have a huge effect on your vision and overall eye health? We’re going to discuss the ways in which drinking too much can impact your eyesight, and then we’ll share our favourite mocktail recipe which contains some hidden health benefits.
Can too much alcohol cause bloodshot eyes?
In a word, yes! One of the most visible effects of over-drinking is red, bloodshot eyes. This occurs because alcohol enlarges the eye’s blood vessels, allowing more blood through at once. This is what makes your eyes appear bloodshot, and it can also come with dryness – in turn causing even more redness. Dry eyes can occur after consuming a large amount of alcohol as alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to become dehydrated. When your eyes don’t have a good amount of lubrication, they can become irritated, resulting in yet more redness.
Is blurry vision a side effect of drinking alcohol?
If you overindulge in alcohol, you might find yourself experiencing slightly fuzzy vision. This is partially a result of higher blood sugar levels which occur when you drink alcohol. Too much booze can also slow down the communication between your eyes and brain, leading to weaker eye muscle coordination. Again, this causes blurry vision and, as your pupil dilation/contraction speed can also be affected by alcohol, you might find yourself suffering with loss of contrast and difficulty seeing in darker environments.
How else can alcohol affect your vision?
The effects of too much alcohol on your vision are numerous but to name just a few, we have:
- Dry eyes
- Eyelid twitching
- Decreased peripheral vision
- Thinner cornea
- Worsening colour vision
- Increased risk of cataracts
- Higher risk of age-related macular degeneration
To find out more about the long-term and short-term effects of alcohol on your vision, check out this Optimax blog post. You can also read about the top 6 problems caused by too much alcohol in a blog post here.
Try this non-alcoholic Bloody Mary recipe during Dry January!
If you’re a Bloody Mary fan then you’re in for some good news – tomatoes are brilliant for your eye health. They’re rich in lots of different nutrients including lutein and beta-carotene. We’ve written at length about these nutrients before and exactly how they can boost your vision. Tomatoes contain antioxidants which have been seen to protect your eyes from UV damage, as well as lowering your risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Now, if you can get all of these benefits in a delicious mocktail, why wouldn’t you?!
A non-alcoholic Bloody Mary isn’t particularly different to the alcoholic version – all you need to do is remove the vodka. The ingredients you’ll need are:
- 300ml of tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon of pickle juice
- 2-5 shakes of Tabasco or hot sauce of choice
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice
- Half a teaspoon of celery salt
Making a Bloody Mary couldn’t be simpler – just combine all of the above ingredients in a glass and stir together. Garnishing this lovely mocktail is entirely a matter of personal choice. Some people like celery sticks, while others prefer olives, gherkins or even picked onions! Whatever you opt for, tomato juice contains a wealth of nutrients such as vitamins A, B and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. Ensuring you eat a healthy, balanced diet with a range of antioxidants and nutrients is sure to boost your eye health and stave off eye disease.
Now enjoy your final week of Dry January with this delicious recipe!
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