Although you may think drinking yourself blind is simply a turn of phrase, excessive consumption of vodka can, in some circumstances, lead to blindness. According to Business Insider, Denis Duthie, 65, recently consumed a little too much vodka at his parents’ anniversary party. The vodka reacted with five medications Duthie takes for his diabetes, causing blindness due to formaldehyde poisoning, the result of methanol–a common byproduct of home-brewed beverages–being metabolized into formaldehyde. Poisoning resulting from the ingestion of methanol can result in blindness and, in some cases, death.
Following a doctor’s diagnosis of the condition, it was recommended that Duthie consume whiskey, which is rich in ethanol, in order to counter the adverse effects of methanol consumption.
A mere few days later, Duthie regained his sight having had a whiskey drip routed through his nose and stomach. The ethanol in whiskey competes with methanol for available liver enzymes, resulting in the slowdown of the conversion of methanol into toxic byproducts, i.e. formaldehyde.
While it should never be recommended to self-medicate with whiskey, this story is just another testament to the famous healing properties of a good scotch. In several cases, a thimble of single malt whiskey will cure what ails you–just wait for the doctor’s approval first!