Alcohol Myopia: Theory & Definition

Instructor: Meghan Greenwood

Meghan has taught undergraduate and graduate level science courses and has a PhD in Immunology.

This lesson will describe the theory of alcohol myopia and how it relates to alcohol ingestion. Additionally, it will define the condition along with a short description of how alcohol affects the body.

Out of Focus

Think about the last time you drove a car. Did you have to squint your eyes in order to read the road sign ahead? Maybe you wear glasses. Does your vision improve with glasses when looking at objects in the distance? Do you need them to read a book or to see your phone screen? The eye is a complex organ, enabling our ability to visually perceive objects both near and far. However, difficulty seeing across distances may be due to a condition called myopia. Myopia is caused by several factors, including differences in the eye's nerve, shape, and the incoming light's focus on the retina. Overall, it leads to a decrease in perception on items that are far (aka _short-sightedness), but maintains your vision on nearby objects.

Myopia of the eye occurs when incoming light does not directly focus on the retina. This causes blurred vision for objects that are far away.

Alcohol Myopia: Definition

Many people consume alcohol on a regular basis. Various studies have examined the metabolism of alcohol and its physical effects. If you've ever had an alcoholic beverage, you can likely attest to the effects it has on the body. Alcohol consumed in large quantities can eventually decrease the function of several important organs, including your heart, liver, and pancreas. More apparent is the effect of alcohol on the brain. Even in small amounts, alcohol can interfere with the brain's communication pathways. Alcohol tends to impair brain function, leading to changes in mood and behavior, and oftentimes, decreased coordination and ability to think clearly. Alcohol myopia is a term used to define several of the behavioral effects that occur after drinking alcohol. While it's not a clinically diagnosed condition or disease, it has led researchers to ponder the true emotional results of alcohol consumption.

Alcohol consumption by country is color coded; darker purple regions have the highest intake per capita.
alcohol intake by country

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