Nystagmus could be the first sign that vision loss due to popular drink is about to strike – Express


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While age doesn’t show mercy to your eyes, there are also other factors that can hasten vision loss. Worryingly, what you put into your body could have harmful effects on your eyes. However, the worst culprit that can scupper your eyesight is alcohol. An expert shares the main symptom of alcohol intoxication that could lead to vision loss.
While having an occasional glass of wine or pint won’t send your eyesight on the path of doom, having one too many drinks might not show you the same kindness.
Mr Shafiq Rehman, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Optegra Eye Hospital Yorkshire and Manchester, said: “If we consume too much alcohol, we can develop optic nerve degeneration.
“This means that vision can be affected, sometimes severely and permanently.
“The mechanics are complex but may involve direct toxicity to this nerve, and depletion of essential nutrients. Vitamin B is essential for good eye health, but can be depleted with poor diet and high alcohol intake.”
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Eyesight: Nystagmus could be sign that vision loss due to alcohol is about to strike.
According to the expert, one of the key symptoms that your eyes are at risk of vision loss due to alcohol is nystagmus.
Nystagmus describes a rhythmical, repetitive and involuntary movement of your eyes, the NHS explains.
The eyes can move from side to side, but sometimes they also go up and down or in a circular motion.
The affected person with nystagmus has no control over their eye movements which means that both eyes can move together or independently.

Mr Rehman said: “Research shows that the main symptoms of alcohol intoxication are abnormal eye movements and acute optic neuropathy – inflammation of the optic nerve – which can lead to vision loss.”
“There is also evidence of excessive alcohol being linked with increased risks of cataract, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, different types of optic neuropathy, impairment of visual quality, retinal vascular disease, and ocular surface disease.”
This slew of eye problems that can be triggered by the popular drink is obviously no good news for your eye health.
Fortunately, how much alcohol you consume could mean the difference between higher risk and vision loss.
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“If we consume too much alcohol, we can develop optic nerve degeneration.
The expert said: “This is really a risk for people with chronic alcoholism. However, even moderate alcohol intake is proven to significantly reduce binocular vision so care should be taken, and is one reason why 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 take the hit, the damage is likely to be permanent.
Mr Rehman said: “Optic neuropathy cases by alcohol are more often than not permanent though some improvements may occur in the first few months after diagnosis and with appropriate management.
“Optic nerve damage can [also] be permanent.”
“The best way to protect eyes from any form of vision loss is to attend your regular eye test.”
The expert recommended how to keep your eyes protected and safe from this risk.
The first obvious step is avoiding too much alcohol which is not only bad for your eyes but also your general health.
Mr Rehman said: “We would recommend enjoying alcohol in moderation.
“The best way to protect eyes from any form of vision loss, or vision deterioration is to attend your regular bi-annual eye test at your local optician.
“Not only will they be able to test your short, mid and long-sight, and recommend glasses or treatment if required, they will also check the health of the eye, and can often spot sight-threatening conditions before there are even any symptoms.”
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