Eyes are an important sense organ without which one can find it difficult to lead a happy and productive life. One must take utmost care to keep the vision of the eyes intact. One such step is avoiding alcohol. According to a recent study, both short- and long-term alcohol abuse can also lead to permanent vision loss.
Owing to its effect on brain function, long-term alcohol consumption can affect the overall visual performance of an individual by causing double vision, dry eyes, reduced visual acuity or sharpness of vision, inability to judge distance and depth and decreased contrast sensitivity, among others. In addition, heavy drinking over a long period of time can cause glaucoma and optic neuropathy or damage the optic nerve.
The study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that individuals with alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS) had significant corneal endothelial abnormalities owing to the concentration of high ethanol and as a consequence of poor nutrition. Corneal endothelium or the inner lining of the cornea has a layer of delicate cells that plays an important role in removing moisture from the cornea to maintain its transparency and useful visual function. Notable for its lack of mitotic activity after birth and inability to regenerate after damage, the corneal endothelium is responsible for pumping fluid out of the corneal stroma to prevent the development of edematous haze and maintain corneal transparency. Regular use of alcohol however, affects the health of this vital part of the human eye.
Chronic alcohol use connected to corneal endothelium
For the research, the authors studied 322 corneas of subjects divided in two separate groups. The first group consisted of 161 patients with ADS and the second group consisted of 161 control participants. The authors examined each of the participants using a specular microscope and compared the endothelial parameters for both the groups before and after abstinence from alcohol. They also compared the results within the first group. Additionally, the group with ADS was also examined to assess the influence of lifetime alcohol consumption, years and pattern of drinking, stage of fatty liver and levels of liver enzymes, among others.
Upon comparison of the two groups, the researchers discovered significant differences in central corneal thickness (CCT) and endothelial cell density (CD). According to them, chronic alcohol use caused ‘an insult’ to the corneal endothelium. While they claimed that high levels of ethanol concentration in aqueous humor, a clear fluid filling the space in the front of the eyeball between the lens and the cornea, may be the primary cause behind the degeneration, other factors like poor nutrition caused due to alcohol abuse could also cause such alterations. Though corneal endothelial was present in patients with ADS, it was more marked in those who were at an advanced stage of fatty liver.
Detox can help deal with alcoholism
The best way to avoid getting alcohol-related vision problems is to avoid alcohol completely. One must remember that falling prey to an addiction is easy, but recovery can be a hard and a life-long process. Nevertheless, an effective treatment program at a certified alcohol abuse treatment center can make the journey to sobriety easy.
Considered the first step to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, detoxification helps clear the accumulated toxins after years of alcohol abuse. Detox can be done with an organic mix of minerals, nutrients and vitamins. Considered the most effective detox method, a natural assisted detox (NAD) program at alcohol detox clinics in California focuses on eliminating one’s dependence on addictive substance and is often followed by additional supportive therapies to aid the recovery process.
Alcohol addiction can be treated
One of the leading detox centers in California, Sovereign Health provides evidence-based treatment for alcohol addiction by adopting a holistic treatment approach that combines detox (medical and natural) with therapy or counseling sessions, allowing patients to recover quickly and completely.
If you or someone you know is abusing alcohol, it is time to seek professional help. At Sovereign Health’s Detox Services, we can help you find the best alcohol detox centers in California. For more information, give us a call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-682-0103 or chat online with our treatment advisors.