A TOP eye surgeon at Calderdale Royal Hospital has warned of the dangers of a new drinking game called vodka eyeballing.
The popular craze sweeping teen parties involves pouring the neat spirit on to the eyeball in a bid to get drunk quickly.
Consultant ophthalmologist Shafiq Rehman called the game “horrendous” and said vodka could not enter the eye in great enough amounts to affect the speed of alcohol absorption.
He warned it would strip away the protective membrane covering the eye and could cause serious pain with catastrophic consquences for vision.
Roxanne Bottomley, 17, of Lane End Green, Hipperholme, used a shotglass to tip the spirit onto her eye.
She said: “I was already drunk when I thought I’d do it to get me drunk faster. It started really hurting. I just started blinking because my eye was watering. It was quite sore. It felt as though I had something in my eye.
“I didn’t know about any research into it but I assuemd it wasn’t very good for me. “I probably wouldn’t do it again because it wasn’t very pleasant.”
Her friend Claire Wright, 18, of Brearley, Luddenden Foot, took part in vodka eyeballing at a house party when she was 17.
“It’s quite popular. People do it when they’re drunk. It really hurt. I wouldn’t do it again.”
A 20-year-old man from Pellon, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It burned and served no purpose. It didn’t really get me drunk, it just gave me bloodshot eyes, which kept weeping.
“I initially did it as a drinking game with my friends to see who could do it for the longest.
“People do it with all spirits from alcopops to absinthe. It ended up being pointless and alcohol seems to have more effect through consumption.”
Mr Rehman said: “The corneal covering can be permanently damaged by pouring neat vodka, which contains up to 40 per cent alcohol into the eye.
“This is exacerbated if the person then rubs the eye, causing scar tissue to develop which can them serious affect sight.
“I have no idea why groups of young people would want to take part in these horrendous drinking games as the pain itself would be bad enough.
“People obviously don’t stop to think about the potential consquences but I would urge any young person to think twice about this practice and have fun without pouring alcohol into their eyes.”