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Alarming teen trend: Vodka eye shots

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Alarming teen trend: Vodka eye shots
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It's a dangerous new drinking fad popping up all over the Internet. It's called "vodka eyeballing," where people literally pour vodka into their eyes. As our Erin Connolly explains, doctors say this alarming trend could cause serious long-term damage.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Bottoms up. It's something you truly have to see to believe.

Destiny McCann of Albany resident, said, "I'm very shocked. I've never heard of that before. I was in college about five years ago. It was called jello shots; now they're doing eyeball shots. I can't believe it."

Lamar Lundy of Albany said, "That's crazy. That's wild. That's nutty. That is nutty."

It's called "vodka eyeballing." And as you can see in this latest round of YouTube videos, partyers literally pour vodka directly into their eyes. Dr. Allen Zieker, an ophthalmologist, said this new fad is an absolute mistake.

Dr. Allen Zieker of Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region said, "Within a matter of several seconds, you can literally burn off some of the layers of the cornea."

Or worse. Dr. Zieker said don't turn a blind eye to the fact that partyers who do this could risk even more serious damage.

Dr. Zieker said, "Visual loss can be fairly soon and if it's persistent, it can possibly be permanent if you do significant damage to the deeper layers of the cornea."

So why are teens vodka eyeballing? Some have claimed they get a quick high, but in fact, doctors say the volume of vodka absorbed by the eye is too small to have that effect.

This group of friends may be laughing, but this substance abuse counselor says it's no laughing matter. Substance abuse counselor Janet Heuring said kids don't do it to get drunk, they're already drunk when they do it.

Janet Heuring, a substance abuse counselor at Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center, said, "It's probably a lot of in the moment peer pressure, not really investigating the potential risks until they happen."

And with these online videos getting thousands of hits, this fad may be a fad for a while.

Heuring said, "Young men are more likely to take the risks and when they're drunk just to become the life of the party or entertain people at the party. I can see why young people do it for the attention."

But again, that moment of attention can have some serious consequences down the road. While blindness is unlikely, doctors say at the very least you can develop conjunctivitis or constant watering of the eyes.

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