Which Alcohol Causes Blindness?

Methanol, a type of alcohol, is the one that can cause blindness and even death when ingested. Methanol is a toxic alcohol that is sometimes found in improperly distilled or homemade alcoholic beverages, and it can also be found in some industrial and household products.

Methanol is metabolized in the body to formaldehyde and formic acid, which are highly toxic. When methanol is consumed, it can lead to methanol poisoning, also known as methanol toxicity or methanol intoxication. The symptoms of methanol poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, confusion, and in severe cases, it can cause metabolic acidosis, organ damage, and even death.

One of the most concerning effects of methanol poisoning is its potential to cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve, leading to blindness. This condition is called methanol-induced optic neuropathy. The toxic byproducts of methanol metabolism can damage the optic nerve and result in vision loss. The onset of blindness due to methanol poisoning can occur within hours to days after ingesting the toxic substance.

It’s important to stress that the consumption of beverages containing methanol is extremely dangerous and can have severe consequences. Commercially produced alcoholic beverages typically do not contain methanol at levels that would cause harm, but homemade or unregulated products can pose risks. If you suspect methanol poisoning or have consumed any substance that might contain methanol, seek immediate medical attention. Treatment can involve supportive care, the administration of antidotes (such as fomepizole or ethanol), and measures to remove methanol from the body.