Several scientific papers assume that long-term drinkers as found in those with an addiction problem, experience significant, even permanent, loss or inhibition of their senses. To date, researchers have shown deterioration in eyesight, smell, taste, and coordination in people who frequently drink too much alcohol. There is also a growing body of data suggesting that these losses or inhibitions are short-term, meaning people may experience temporary loss of vision, smell, taste, and coordination even if they don’t drink often.
While the addictive nature and toxic risks of alcohol abuse are known, short- and long-term damage to the senses is not often discussed. However, these results should be made widely known as the realization that alcohol abuse is stealing people’s awareness of the world may serve as a powerful deterrent to excessive alcohol consumption in the future.
The effect of alcohol consumption on eyesight
Eyesight is crucial for a normal, functioning life. Being deprived of eyesight, even experiencing decreased eyesight, inhibits the ability to enjoy daily life, which is why it is so important to protect eyesight. According to research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, compelling data suggest a direct link between short- and long-term vision loss and alcohol consumption.
Quote from the research authors, “Drinking more than 20 grams of alcohol per day was linked to an approximately 20% increased chance of developing early AMD [age-related macular degeneration] compared to those who reported no alcohol consumption at the start of the study, adjusted for gender, age, smoking, country of birth, education, physical activity and energy from food. This positive association was shown with wine, beer and spirits. ”
The study results suggest a modest association between alcohol consumption and visual impairment. And as a direct result of the results, the authors concluded the study by recommending that people limit or stop their alcohol consumption.
The effect of alcohol consumption on the sense of smell
There is also a relationship between alcohol consumption and short- or long-term loss or inhibition of the sense of smell. A study published in BMJ Open found a direct link between heavy alcohol consumption and inhibition of the sense of smell. The same study also found an association between light, moderate, and heavy drinking and a loss of sense of taste (more on alcohol consumption and taste later).
Quote from the study authors in their final analysis: “Age, gender, ethnicity, level of education, family income, light to moderate alcohol consumption, and a history of asthma or cancer were significant risk factors for odor disorders, while only ethnicity, heavy alcohol consumption and CVD [cardio-vascular disease] Anamnesis were associated with a higher prevalence of taste disorders. ”
Many factors undoubtedly play a role in the gradual to severe inhibition of the sense of smell or taste. But it seems that drinking alcohol is a risk factor for both of them. When considering the supposed benefits of drinking alcohol, one should weigh this against both the short-term and long-term effects of such activity on their senses.
The influence of alcohol consumption on taste
The same researchers who analyzed the effects of alcohol on the sense of smell also analyzed the effects of alcohol on taste. The study’s lead author, Richard Doty, Ph.D., was quoted in Penn Medicine News explaining how alcohol inhibits the senses. “We believe [alcohol-caused] Damage occurs in these nerve fibers and receptors or cells that are connected to the senses. We now know that alcoholism and poor nutrition lead to a thiamine deficiency (vitamin B1), which can also damage central brain regions that are important for smell and memory. ”
“We now know that alcoholism and poor nutrition lead to a thiamine deficiency (vitamin B1), which can also damage central brain regions that are important for smell and memory.”
Another academic paper that appeared in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism. has been published, summarized a study conducted on two test groups, a group of people struggling with alcohol addiction and a group of people who had never had alcohol addiction before. The study wanted to find out if there was a difference in how people with alcohol addiction perceive sweet and salty foods.
The results were pretty illuminating. The alcohol-dependent group reported lower sensitivity to sweet foods, suggesting that drinking habits may influence food choices, leading to alcohol addicts preferring foods with higher sucrose concentrations. In addition to affecting the taste buds, alcohol appears to have the direct effect of leading alcohol addicts to processed, sugary foods. This can contribute to poor health, as excessive sugar consumption increases the risk of numerous diseases.
The effect of alcohol consumption on coordination and muscle control
The effect of alcohol consumption on coordination and muscle control is evident. These effects are both short-term (during and immediately after an alcohol episode) and long-term. One study found an alarming relationship between alcohol consumption (at a socially “normal” level) and significant impairments of balance, coordination, reaction time and muscle control.
Alcohol affects the brain’s ability to communicate with the body. This has both acute and long-term effects on the ability of the central nervous system to control muscles and give outpatient commands to the body.
Another factor that makes alcohol’s effects on coordination and muscle control even more worrisome is that when a person drinks too much, they become less aware of themselves are impaired. One study found that people who drink alcohol are more likely to believe they are not impaired compared to people who drink in moderation and are more aware of their level of impairment.
Quoting the study authors Brumback, Cao, and King, “Habitual alcohol users show a comparable alcohol-induced behavioral disorder, but a lower self-assessed perception of impairment than their counterparts for light social alcohol consumption. … Given the fact that despite similar impairments, they report less perceived alcohol-related impairments than lighter drinkers, they could be exposed to an even greater risk of accidents due to poor judgment when intoxicated.
Alcohol and the senses do not go together
This article is by no means a comprehensive analysis of the effects of alcohol on the senses. However, a cursory examination of the available data shows that alcohol consumption has both acute and long-term effects on eyesight, taste, smell and coordination. The effects become more pronounced and more likely the more alcohol one consumes, the more frequently and longer it is consumed.
Given the quality of life and the need to be able to perceive the world, it seems clear that the best way to preserve and protect the senses is to avoid drinking alcohol. Not at all. There are no health benefits of drinking alcohol and there are high risks.