Is Drinking Alcohol Bad For Your Eyes?

Alcohol is known to dehydrate the body, and have a negative effect on brain function and overall health. But, it can also have a negative effect on our eyes.


Alcohol increases the sugar level in your blood, which causes the lenses of your eyes to swell, which often results in blurry vision and itchy, irritated eyes. This is why you may have noticed the feeling of dry itchy eyes, or even burning eyes, after drinking alcohol.


For people who already suffer from chronic Dry Eye Syndrome, drinking alcohol can increase the risk of symptoms worsening.


What are the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome? 


Symptoms of Dry Eye can include dry, itchy, gritty, sore and watery eyes, as well as sensitivity to light and blurred vision.


Dry Eye

Can drinking alcohol cause dry eyes?  


Alcohol dehydrates the eyes and makes it even harder for the body to produce enough tears. Repeated consumption can also make it harder to absorb vitamins and maintain a healthy digestion, which can limit how effectively your body regenerates the tissue in your eyes.


What can you do to minimise symptoms of alcohol related dry eyes?


Reduce your alcohol intake 


Dry Eye


Reducing the amount that you drink, can help to improve your health. When we stop consuming alcohol, our eyes have time to strengthen and protect against macular degeneration, which is a type of eye deterioration common in people over 50 that can result in blurred vision, and Dry Eye Syndrome. This is because the body is more hydrated and has better blood flow to the vital organs. Even drinking only on the weekends is a great start to protect your eyes.


Stay hydrated  


Dry Eye


Drinking enough water is something we all need to try and do, especially because it helps keep your eyes hydrated and protected against Dry Eye Syndrome. Experts recommend between 8-10 glasses a day if you already suffer from dry, itchy eyes.


Reduce your screen time  


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Spending less time staring at a phone, tablet or laptop, whilst sometimes difficult, is another great thing that helps your eyes recover from alcohol damage.  The 20:20:20 rule, where you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, is a simple, effective way to cut down on screen time.


Staring at screens frequently can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome, another cause of Dry Eye.


Maintain a healthy diet, packed full of Vitamin A, C and E 


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There are various vitamins for dry eyes that you can make part of a balanced diet to improve your eye health. These include Vitamin C and Omega 3, which can help reduce eye fatigue and chronic Dry Eye symptoms.


Follow a three-step treatment plan 


A three-step treatment plan is a great way to effectively manage your Dry Eye.


 Step 1: If you are suffering from Evaporative Dry Eye, or Meibomian Gland Disorder, a heated compress, such as Meibopatch ®, can help to  unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes.


Step 2: Cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built-up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef ®, which is specially designed to reduce discomfort.


Step 3: Incorporate an effective lubricant such as any drop from the VISUFamily range. Depending on your condition, you can choose an eye drop that will help ease your symptoms.


For more resources on how alcohol can affect your health, or for help reducing your alcohol intake, you can visit the NHS website.


In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.


See more Causes of Dry Eye


Smoking can also cause Dry Eyes, find out more



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