Vodka eyeballing craze a bad idea, eye doctors say

10:29 PM, Jul 23, 2010   |    comments
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YOUTUBE: Wanna see vodka eyeballing? Watch it in all its stupid glory

SACRAMENTO, CA - There's a disturbing new drinking trend making its way across the west coast. It's called vodka eyeballing -- and yes, it is exactly how it sounds.

On YouTube, dozens of videos, many originating from the United Kingdom, have been posted of college-aged men doing eyeball shots. The vodka comes from either a fifth or a shot glass and goes directly into the eye.

On Friday night, only a few patrons at DeVere's Irish Pub in Sacramento had heard of the ridiculous craze.

"Kids will pour vodka into their eyes to get a buzz on and the next thing you know, they're blind," said one beer-drinking customer. "So don't do it, kids."

News10 showed a few YouTube videos to those who hadn't heard of eyeballing -- and almost every reaction was the same.

"What is he doing?" screamed Ashley Townsend of Kansas City. "That's so gross!"

"That's really gross," said her date.

Gross, painful, and dumb, according to many optometrists in Sacramento.

"I'm not really sure that it's something people should be doing," said Kevin Talaga, an optometrist for the Mercy Medical Group.

Talaga said that aside from the obvious pain, there's a toxic effect from the alcohol.

"It's going to strip the cornea of the front surface of the eye. That's going to be like a giant scrape on the front of the eye. It's going to be pretty painful," he said. "They're really seriously risking their vision by doing that."

So if it's so painful, why the growing trend?  Apparently, the craze got started over the misconception that the drinker would  get drunk faster by doing eyeball shots.

Not so, says Talaga.

"You're just getting a small amount that absorbs into the very small blood vessels," he said. "You'll probably get more from just holding the shot in your mouth or swallowing the shot and digesting it that way."

By Nick Monacelli, nickmonacelli@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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