September 4, 2009

Alcohol impairs vision, blurs faces

Alcohol consumption impairs vision and makes faces appear less clear, South Korean researchers studying sexual attraction have determined.

Researchers at Kyungwoon University asked 10 adults with an average age of 22.4 years and healthy vision to each drink a 12-ounce bottle of soju, a Korean drink with an alcohol content of 19.7 percent, The Chosun Ilbo reported Friday.

An hour later, the average blood-alcohol content was at its highest at 0.32 percent and the participants' vision, on average, had dropped 0.32 diopters, said Cho Hyun-gug, a professor of visual optics who led the research.

Three hours later, the average blood-alcohol level was 0.17 percent with vision, on average, down 0.27 diopters.

This increases distortion, so the facial features of the opposite sex appear less clear and may look more attractive, Cho said in the Journal of the Korean Ophthalmic Optics Society.