Since the study authors failed to say what they meant by "heavy drinking", I looked up what CDC says:
For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming an average of more than 1 drink per day.
On the other hand, since the study doesn't talk about women, I guess we ladies don't have anything to worry about (LOL).
To evaluate the tear film function and ocular surface changes in heavily drinking men.
This prospective case-control study involved 35 male subjects with heavy alcohol consumption (group 1) and 35 age- and sex-matched control subjects (group 2). Best-corrected visual acuity measurement, slit-lamp examination, Schirmer I test, tear film break-up time (BUT) measurement, and conjunctival impression cytology were performed in all subjects. The results were compared between the 2 groups.
The mean Schirmer I test results in group 1 and group 2 were 8.31 ± 3.56 mm and 13.17 ± 5.71 mm, respectively, and the mean BUT values were 9.22 ± 3.10 seconds and 13.20 ± 4.04 seconds, respectively. The mean Schirmer I and BUT results were statistically lower in group 1 than in group 2 (P < 0.0001). The mean impression cytology scores in group 1 and group 2 were 2.08 ± 0.78 and 1.37 ± 0.94, respectively. A statistically significant difference was noted between the study and control groups for the grading of cytological changes (P = 0.001).
Our data showed that heavily drinking men have decreased tear production, tear film instability, and significant degeneration of the ocular surface epithelium when compared with normal subjects.
Cornea. 2012 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]
Departments of *Ophthalmology †Psychiatry ‡Pathology, Inonu University School of Medicine, Malatya, Turkey.