Did you overindulge with the alcohol over the festive period? Are you planning on giving it a up as part of Dry January? It’s a great idea if you want to get healthy, shed a few pounds and take care of your eye health. Surprised by that last one?
Research has shown that drinking too much alcohol, even if it’s the occasional binge, can damage your eye health and cause symptoms of dry eyes.
What are dry eye symptoms?
Bloodshot, stinging, burning and itchy eyes, as well as blurred vision can all result from dry eyes. Over indulgent drinking can trigger all these symptoms.
Why does alcohol bring on dry eye symptoms?
Alcohol increases sugar levels in your blood, which makes the lenses of your eyes swell, blurring your vision.
As for the stinging, burning and itchy sensations, they come from too few tears being around to keep the eyes hydrated. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which is why even occasional binges can leave your eyes feeling scratchy and dry.
Thankfully Dry January can help you resolve these alcohol-induced symptoms.
So, what is Dry January?
Dry January is an annual movement founded by the charity Alcohol Change UK, where millions of people give up alcohol for the entire month of January.
Dry January benefits your whole body, including your eyes.
How will your eye health improve through Dry January?
Within the first 24 hours, your blood sugar levels will return to normal and any blurred vision caused by drinking too much alcohol will disappear. Over the next 7 days, your body will re-hydrate and dry eye symptoms, such as stinging and itchiness, will fade.
Two weeks into your Dry January your blood pressure should get back to normal – excessive drinking tends to raise it. This helps protect blood vessels in the retina – the back part of your eye – from damage, which can affect your vision.
By the end of Dry January, your red blood cells will have started to renew themselves. This provides a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to your eyes, helping prevent disease.
All this healing and restoration is possible in just one month. So next time the question ‘What is Dry January?’ comes up in conversation, don’t forget to mention some of its transformative effects on your eye health.
Looking beyond January
If you’re worried that you may have dry eye, whatever the time of year, get in touch with our team at Ferrier & Mackinnon Optometrists, where you can book a comprehensive dry eye assessment. We’re here to help you keep your eyes healthy all year round!
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