Cocaine Eyes - Rehab Guide

Cocaine Eyes

Cocaine Eyes

What are Cocaine Eyes?

Cocaine eyes are the various ways taking cocaine changes the appearance and effectiveness of your eyes. These effects increase the more you use cocaine, and you will find more and more symptoms occur the longer you use the drug.

The look is usually characterized by bloodshot whites and dilated pupils, and sometimes injuries, ulcers and irritation in the tear ducts.

It is worth remembering, though, that eye problems like these are also signs of other conditions, and it is best not to assume unless you know someone is a cocaine user.

cocaine affected eyes

Eye Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

Bloodshot Eyes

A common sign of chronic cocaine use is having bloodshot eyes, although this can be a sign of other issues as well. This is caused by blood vessels constricting and increasing your blood pressure, as stimulants like cocaine are designed to do.

Inflammation or irritation can happen in various parts. This can also be made worse by accidentally rubbing or accidental cross-contamination during inhaling.

Although it normally fades after a few hours, repeated use can cause it to last longer, even days.


It is well known that people taking cocaine may have dilated pupils while they are under the influence and for a time after. This causes the look of an oversized pupil.

Long-term heavy users may find that the ciliary muscle of the eye can lead to problems focusing their eyes on things near or near the distance.


Inhaling cocaine through your nose causes severe damage to the sinuses. This can lead to issues in the Orbital Apex of your eyes. Signs of this are numbness around the eye and vision loss. More typically, it means pain, swelling and impaired vision. In severe cases, infections can cause loss of vision and even blindness.


A damaged liver can lead to yellowing in the eyes and skin. This is due to the body being unable to get rid of bilirubin without the liver functioning. Extended cocaine misuse can lead to complete liver failure and is cause for immediate attendance at the nearest hospital.


Most severe in crack cocaine users, keratitis is caused by a series of factors. Cocaine alters dopamine in the brain and can change how you blink your eyes, often leading to less blinking than you need. This can cause your eyes to feel sore and dry, causing you to rub them excessively, leading to bacteria entering your eye and causing infections and ulcers.

Corneal Ulcers

These can be caused by rubbing your eyes through contact irritation, lack of blinking and general inhalation of aerosolized crack cocaine. These are caused by bacterial infections and are more likely in those with severe cocaine addiction who generally have poor health and personal care.

What Causes Cocaine Eyes?

How you take cocaine will be a big factor in damage to your eyes. The main reason for eye problems in cocaine users is the method of inhaling or smoking the drug. The powder form of cocaine is an irritant, and introducing it into your nose also brings it into contact with your eyes, mouth and ears.

These parts are all connected through your oral cavity, which is why infections such as colds and inflammation like allergies spread through all of these parts of your head.

Also, handling cocaine with your fingers brings it into contact with parts of your head you didn’t intend. We frequently touch our eyes and mouth with our own hands, which means any cocaine you touch can transfer from there.

One of the contributing factors in cocaine eyes is how addictive cocaine is. Over time, many users of cocaine increase their use and binge on the drug. Exposing your body to large amounts of a toxic substance like cocaine, even if it is only occasionally, causes a negative reaction from physical contact.

Crack Eyes

The term crack eye refers to the redness, vision loss and chemical burns caused by smoking crack cocaine. One of the most dangerous ways to take cocaine is to smoke crack. The intense highs caused by this form are even more addictive, and binging is more likely.

Although you are not inhaling the cocaine in powder if you breathe in crack cocaine smoke, it is still putting a toxic substance into your oral cavity. Crack is also much stronger in potency than powder cocaine, making any side effects more intense.

Injection, on the other hand, will only have the side effects of dilated pupils and rubbing caused by a lack of blinking. However, injection comes with its own host of much more dangerous side effects, such as risk of bloodborne disease and high overdose risk.

What to do About Cocaine Eyes


Treatment for cocaine eye damage depends on the symptoms and severity of your condition. Bacterial issues such as infections and ulcers can be treated with antibiotics.

Inflammation can be helped with anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers.

Liver damage may heal if you take time and medical help to recover. If the damage is too extensive, you may need a liver transplant, but unless a family member or friend is willing to donate, the chances of being a candidate with a drug addiction are low.

All of these treatments will only improve your eye and other problems if you stop taking cocaine. Otherwise, the cycle will continue until you risk losing your vision completely.

rehab centres cocaine

Treat the Addiction

Cocaine use impacts not only your eyes but all of your body. It is a toxic and dangerous substance that can cause heart, lung and brain problems as well.

Addiction to cocaine can lead you to take more and more, especially if you start using crack cocaine and smoking and injecting.

Stopping cocaine is a vital part of recovering from any side effects that you experience. We understand this can be challenging, and cocaine rehab can help you. A medical detox, safe, abstinent environment, therapy and counselling can offer you a way out. Call or chat with our team today to find a cocaine rehab centre near you.

Sources Ocular complications of crack cocaine use Crack smoke” is a respirable aerosol of cocaine base Reduced Spontaneous Eye Blink Rates in Recreational Cocaine Users

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