Doctors: Vodka shots to eye can cause blindness - WNEM TV 5

Doctors: Vodka shots to eye can cause blindness

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There are viral videos popping up on YouTube called Vodka Eyeballing that supposedly show young people taking a shot of vodka to the eye.

The idea behind it is to get a quick buzz; however, some reports show there are skeptics who believe the videos are fake and shot takers are actually using water.

But, fake or not, some Upstate college students tell FOX Carolina they know of students who try to copy the videos and actually use shots of vodka.

On Wednesday, Thomas Summer, a student at Furman University, said he's seen the YouTube videos and has heard about students at other campuses trying Vodka Eyeballing, but hasn't witnessed it himself.

"I just think people see these viral videos and they think, 'Oh well, maybe if I make a video of me doing it then I'll get 15 seconds of fame,'" Summer said. "And so they just see that guy [on the video] turned out fine and they think, 'Maybe I will too.'"

And even though Carolina Thomas, a Furman University student, knows about the videos too, she said vodka and your eyes just don't mix.

"I think that the people who see that and then do it are kind of equally seeking attention for it," Thomas said.

Dr. Kurt Heitman is an ophthalmologist at Southern Eye Associates in Greenville.

"For one thing, you're not going to absorb enough alcohol through the eye to get any type of buzz or high, it just doesn't work," Heitman said.

He deals with diseases and surgeries of the eye and said most vodka contains 30 to 40 percent alcohol. He said if users took a shot to the eye, it would burn and could cause blindness.

"We use alcohol in certain surgical procedures to take off that front layer of cells," Heitman said. "You wouldn't know immediately the full extent of the damage until later."

Heitman said he's never treated a patient with eye damage because of Vodka Eyeballing.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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