Doctors say 'Vodka Eyeballing' drinking game could cause blindness

Published: Feb. 2, 2011 at 4:44 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2011 at 3:01 AM CST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/WMC-TV) - A drinking game is gaining popularity and there are a number of videos on YouTube to prove it.

"Vodka Eyeballing" involves taking a shot of vodka in the eye.  The online videos feature men and women, often in party scenes, participating in the disturbing practice.

"It's very alarming because, one, we have kids that are going to be that age soon and how are you supposed to let them go out with their friends if that's the type stuff they're doing," said Crystal Lemacks, a mother who was shocked by the trend.

Most in the medical community agree those who participate in "Vodka Eyeballing" are under the misguided impression it will help the alcohol reach their bloodstream faster.

"There's some debate whether or not they're doing this because they can feel the effects of alcohol quicker, and I don't think there's anything that's going to substantiate that," said optometrist Dr. Patrick Smith.
The long-term effects of repeatedly participating in "Vodka Eyeballing" can take a permanent toll on vision.

"Vodka specifically is a very potent alcohol about 40 to 50 percent alcohol and that can physically melt the cornea," said Smith. "It could cause blindness."

Medical experts warn parents a red or swollen eye could be a sign of participation in "Vodka Eyeballing."

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