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Vodka eyeballing bad for your eyes: health experts

Written by: QMI Agency
May. 31, 2010

It's called vodka eyeballing and it's being touted as a way to get drunk faster.

The act is exactly what it sounds like < it involves pouring vodka straight onto your eyeball. Blogs discussing the "craze" say it started in Britain but has now crossed the pond and is a hit with young Americans.

Videos of people pouring vodka onto their eyeballs are getting thousands of views on YouTube. In one video, a man identified as Carlo shows how vodka eyeballing is done.

"That is excrutiating," he says in the video posted Thursday after pouring vodka onto his eye. "My eye burns to hell."

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While some claim it's a quick way to get drunk, others say it's just something to do as a dare while drinking with friends.

A fan page for eyeballing vodka, which has just a little more than 100 members, says it's "dedicated to those of us that feel no need to raise the vodka bottle to our mouth but to 'up the ante' and raise it a little higher to the eye. It's such a beautiful sight seeing the rim of the bottle connect with your eye and then the pure vodka flooding the eyeball. Become part of this great cause."

But most of the group members aren't actually fans of the idea.

"This is seriously disturbing," one member wrote.

"Willingly dumping alcohol into your eyes? Are you f---ing mental," another wrote. "The human race couldn't be any more embarrassing."

After several media reports of vodka eyeballing in the U.S., American opthamologists issued a statement warning people against pouring alcohol into your eyeball.

"People need to be aware that anyone who pours vodka directly into his eye risks damaging the surface epithelial cells < often causing pain and infection," the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) said in a release.

They said while it's unlikely, there's also a risk of permanent vision damage by killing endothelial cells in deeper layers of the eye's cornea.

"Eyeballers do not get a 'quick high' as claimed because the volume of vodka absorbed by the conjunctiva and cornea is too small to have that effect,"

the AAO said.

The U.K.'s Daily Mail reported on May 15 that vodka eyeballing was a craze in universities and that it's believed to have started after a character in the movie Kevin and Perry Go Large does it as a stunt in nightclubs.

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