The Wigan store team has backed local residents’ healthy bid to complete the Dry January challenge, and raised awareness of the detrimental impact excess alcohol can have on the eyes.

As part of last year’s Dry January campaign, more than two million people made the resolution to go without alcohol for the month and even more are taking part in 2016.

Positive effects of cutting down

While cutting out alcohol has been proven to help participants lose weight, enjoy better sleep and save money, the Specsavers team in Wigan were determined to raise awareness of the positive impact reducing how much you drink can have on your long-term eye health.

If you drink heavily or often, you are at a much higher risk of short term changes in your vision as well as permanent damage. The more you drink in one go the greater the risk.  Both long term and short term alcohol abuse can have a direct effect on the optic nerve, which can damage vision. Excessive drinking can also cause red or bloodshot eyes and increased sensitivity to light.

Healthy fresh start

Graeme Gardner, store director at Wigan said: ‘At the start of a new year, it’s completely understandable that thousands of people look to make a healthy fresh start, especially if they feel they have perhaps indulged a little excessively during the festive period.

‘Drinking alcohol from time to time will not have any real negative effects on the eye, although there may be some temporary effects such as dizziness and blurry vision, depending on the quantity and your individual tolerance. However, it’s often overlooked that excessive drinking can have an impact on the health of your whole body, including your eyes.

‘January in particular is a great time to swap the alcohol for an increased intake of water, since the dehydrating effect of the alcohol is a reason for swollen and bloodshot eyes after drinking.

‘We believe that Dry January offers a fantastic opportunity to get your year off to a fantastic healthy start while reducing your alcohol intake moving forward can only have a positive impact on your eye health’.

Specsavers recommends that everyone should have an eye test every two years, regardless of whether you feel as if your vision has deteriorated and need glasses.

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