The unexpected health benefit of Dry July
When we talk about doing Dry July, it is usually as part of a âdetoxâ. But there is another part of our body that benefits from stopping alcohol.
When you’ve spent a short evening drinking, there are a lot of physical indicators. Headaches, nausea, bloodshot eyes are some of them. And while the pandemic has seen an increase in alcohol consumption due to home orders, many of us are feeling the long term effects and want to explore our sober sides.
Your liver, one of the body’s main detoxification centers, will of course thank you. But so will your eyes if you stop drinking this month.
âWhen we consume large amounts of alcohol, it puts pressure on the liver, resulting in low levels of nutrition throughout the body, including our eyes,â says Sophie Koh, National Professional Services Advisor at Optometry Australia .
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You might be familiar with the look: Bloodshot, irritated, or even yellowing whites of our eyes can be a key indicator of poor liver function.
“Sustained and heavy drinking can also, over time, severely damage our optic nerves which are responsible for sending visual cues and information from our eyes to our brain,” Koh explains.
âLong-term binge drinking can also increase the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. “
Unfortunately, eye health is often overlooked and people often wait until it is too late or for a more serious problem to develop before signing up for an eye exam when in reality, an eye exam. should be as common as seeing a doctor or dentist. .
A recent Optometry Australia study in 2020 found that 35% of Australians had not had a regular eye exam.
âThis is mainly due to a misconception that you don’t have to worry about eye health until something is wrong, but it definitely doesn’t,â Koh explains.
âWith the majority of eye conditions having no obvious signs or symptoms, and 90% of vision loss that is preventable if caught early, it’s important for people to see their optometrist regularly to maintain good vision for life. “
It also makes a lot of sense to give your body a break from the grog and Dry July is a fantastic motivator for that. Even though it is a week of the month, it is certainly not too late to join the 37,557 Australians who do not drink alcohol.
âTaking a break from alcohol consumption is a simple and effective way to support our eye health and prevent the development of vision problems,â Koh explains.
“As early as 24 hours after taking a break from alcohol, our eyes start to rest, repair themselves and show signs of improving functionalityâ¦ damaging.”