Signs & Symptoms Of Cocaine Eyes

Symptoms of cocaine eyes you may experience include reduced tear production, increased sensitivity to light, nystagmus, and damage to the cornea.

Signs of cocaine eyes in a loved one include bloodshot eyes and pupil dilation.

Symptoms of cocaine eyes you may experience include reduced tear production, increased sensitivity to light, nystagmus, and damage to the cornea.

Cocaine eyes refers to the altered appearance of a person’s eyes after snorting cocaine or inhaling cocaine vapors. The use of cocaine can have short-term and long-term effects on your eyes, central nervous system, and overall health.

Signs Of Cocaine Eyes

Cocaine can affect the autonomic nervous system, the part of the brain that controls the eyes. The use of cocaine can affect the eyes in ways that are visible to others, including:

  • bloodshot eyes
  • dilated pupils
  • wearing sunglasses in unusual circumstances (in dark places or on cloudy days)

Along with the autonomic nervous system, cocaine affects the central nervous system as a whole by increasing dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects reward, mood and motor function. A family member or loved one who has cocaine eyes may also display other signs of cocaine abuse.

Other potential signs of cocaine abuse include nosebleeds, irritability, restlessness, jaundice, and scarring on potential injection sites. These signs may vary depending on the method of cocaine use.

Symptoms Of Cocaine Eyes

The effects of cocaine on the eyes can extend beyond dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes. Cocaine causes side effects on the eyes such as:

  • nystagmus (involuntary, repetitive eye movements)
  • increased sensitivity to light (due to pupil dilation)
  • changes in tear production

These symptoms may be accompanied by other side effects of cocaine use, such as increased heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure, chest pain, and paranoia.

Along with immediate side effects on the eyes, cocaine is also linked to long-term forms of eye damage.

Neurotrophic Keratitis

Some studies report a link between cocaine abuse and a degenerative corneal disease known as neurotrophic keratitis. The cornea is the protective outer layer of the eye, and perforation or ulcers that develop in the corneal layer can lead to permanent eye damage.

A compromised cornea can make other parts of your eye more susceptible to damage, such as your pupils and retina.

Talc Retinopathy

Talc retinopathy is an eye condition where yellow crystals appear in the retina. These crystals may be a result of talcum powder being deposited in the eye from the bloodstream.

Talcum powder is an ingredient in many legal and illicit drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, and heroin.

Talc retinopathy is more likely to develop if these substances are targets of injection drug abuse. Higher amounts of talc may end up in the bloodstream after injecting, after which it ends up in the eye.

Talc retinopathy can block blood vessels in the eye and cause progressive vision loss. These health effects may worsen if long-term cocaine use continues and higher amounts of talc build up in the eye.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment Options

Signs of cocaine eyes in a loved one may be indicative of a substance use disorder. Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug which is illegal outside of some specific medical uses.

Almost any form of drug use involving cocaine is also a form of substance abuse.

Due to cocaine’s habit-forming nature, it can be difficult to quit without a professional addiction treatment program. These programs often start with a detox program. During detox, cocaine is flushed out of your system while professionals assess your current health and medical history.

After a successful detox program, patients may be recommended for inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment plans, which may involve counseling, behavioral therapy, and other options.

To learn about our outpatient treatment programs, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

©2024 Northeast Addition Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

Ready to make a change? Talk to a specialist now.