January 4th 2022

How Dry January Can Benefit Your Eyesight

The new year is not just a new start in terms of opening a new calendar, it also offers a chance to set goals, refocus and introduce new habits. Indeed, setting new year’s resolutions can be traced back millennia to the ancient Babylonians who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favour in the coming year.

Nowadays, resolutions tend not to have such a celestial X and are often rooted around health, relationships and work. In today’s blog, we look at an increasingly common resolution and the benefits that it can have on your vision.

Dry January started in 2013 with 4,000 people and has since ballooned, with around 130,000 taking part in 2021. Led by Alcohol Change UK, Dry January is the UK’s one-month alcohol-free challenge. Giving up, or reducing, the consumption of alcohol is linked to a vast number of physical and mental benefits.

Although it’s no secret that drinking to excess puts the body under strain and can lead to serious health implications, many are unaware their eyes could be at risk.

Binge drinking can cause several problems with eye health, including symptoms associated with dry eye. These include swollen blood vessels in the eyes which can give a bloodshot look, itchiness, irritation and fluctuation in vision. Associated swelling or inflammation can also cause a twitching of the eyelid and an increased sensitivity to light. Although these are only minor issues, long-term alcohol abuse can actually permanently damage the optic nerves, which are responsible for sending visual information from the eyes to the brain.

The longer you abstain you may also notice your eyes become brighter and whiter, as your body counteracts damage/yellowing of the sclera – the white part of your eye. In addition to this, circulation improves and your eyes receive oxygen and nutrients to prevent disease and damage, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Within a month, your body’s red blood cells will have started to renew resulting in better blood flow and oxygen supply to your organs, and of course eyes. Good circulation is important to maintaining good eye health as it means that they are receiving frequent oxygen and nutrients.

For more information on Dry January and to register, visit Alcohol Change UK | Dry January.

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