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April 1965

Glaucoma, Alcohol, and Intraocular Pressure

Author Affiliations

From the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (Glaucoma Consultation Service) and Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Harvard University Medical School.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(4):495-501. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030497009

Ophthalmologic literature relating to ethyl alcohol consists of many reports of influences on eye movements, nystagmus, visual physiology, and on so-called alcohol amblyopia, but very little is to be found concerning influence on intraocular pressure. A systematic search of textbooks and the periodical literature has disclosed only one previous study on this subject in human beings, and very little additional in animals. This is surprising when one considers how common is the drinking of alcohol, how many other effects of alcohol have been studied in great detail, and how often glaucomatous patients themselves raise questions about the possible influence of alcoholic beverages on their glaucoma. It seems to us that one of the most frequent questions asked by patients whose condition has been diagnosed as glaucoma is whether it is safe for them to continue to take their customary alcoholic beverages.

Ascher, in a compendium prepared in 1937 on substances

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