What Do Your Eyes Look Like on Meth?

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You might be familiar with meth mouth and other physical effects of methamphetamine addiction, but what’s less commonly discussed are meth eyes. The reality is, meth (also called crystal meth) can impact your eyes and vision, both in the short and long term. Recognizing meth addiction early is crucial so that treatment can be started as soon as possible, as these eye issues are just one of the many harmful consequences of the addiction. Read on to discover:

  • What do your eyes look like on meth?
  • What does meth do to your eyes long-term?
  • How to heal the effects of meth on eyes.

How Does Meth Affect the Eyes?

Heavy and continuous use of methamphetamine can lead to various eye problems, often called meth eyes. These issues arise because meth can constrict blood vessels, reducing blood flow and oxygen to many body parts, including the eyes.

Effects of meth on the eyes include:

  • Enlarged pupils: Meth can cause the pupils to dilate, making them look very large, even in bright environments. This happens because meth affects the nervous system, leading to an increase in neurotransmitters that control the eye’s iris muscles.
  • Dry eyes: Meth use can reduce tear production, leading to dry and irritated eyes. This chronic dryness can damage the cornea and conjunctiva, increasing the risk of infections and discomfort.
  • Changes in eye appearance: With long-term use, meth can alter the appearance of the eyes of a meth user, making them look sunken or bulging due to changes in blood flow and weakened eye socket tissues.
  • Nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements): Meth can cause nystagmus, where the eyes move rapidly and uncontrollably, affecting coordination and vision.
  • Blurred vision: Those who use meth may experience blurry vision, making it difficult to focus on objects. This can increase the risk of accidents and impact daily activities.

In addition to these effects, meth abuse can lead to meth eye discharge, characterized by unusual eye secretions from eyes on meth. This discharge, which may be watery, sticky, or pus-like, can worsen eye irritation and infection.

woman rubbing eyes representing Eyes on meth

How to Get Rid of Meth Eyes

Treating meth eyes involves addressing both the immediate symptoms and the underlying cause, which is methamphetamine use.

Cease meth use

The most fundamental step is to stop using meth. This prevents further damage and allows the body to start recovering. Seeking professional help for addiction treatment can streamline this process.

Medical evaluation

Consult an eye specialist or healthcare provider for a comprehensive eye examination. They can assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate treatments.

Hydration and nutrition

Proper hydration and a nutritious diet can aid the body’s healing process, including the recovery of eye health.

Artificial tears

For dry eyes, over-the-counter artificial tear solutions can provide relief and help maintain eye moisture.

Rest your eyes

Reducing screen time and ensuring adequate sleep can help alleviate eye strain and promote healing.

Follow prescribed treatments

If a doctor prescribes medication or treatment for conditions like nystagmus or corneal issues, follow these recommendations diligently.

Sunglasses for protection

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light and reduce glare, which can be uncomfortable for sensitive eyes.

Supportive care

Engaging in supportive therapies, such as counseling and support groups, can expedite overall recovery from methamphetamine addiction, indirectly benefiting eye health.

Regular eye check-ups

Regular follow-ups with an eye care professional can help monitor recovery and address any ongoing issues.

Healthy lifestyle choices

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, can further support the healing process.

Keep in mind that recovery from meth eyes depends on the severity of the condition and the duration of meth use. Patience and consistent care are key to managing and improving eye health.


Does meth make your eyes look red?

Yes, meth use can cause redness in the eyes, often resulting from increased blood pressure and reduced sleep.

Can meth cause eye infections?

While meth doesn’t directly cause eye infections, its use can lead to behaviors that increase the risk of infection, such as poor hygiene or rubbing the eyes with dirty hands.

Does meth dilate your eyes?

Meth use leads to dilated pupils due to its stimulant properties on the central nervous system.

What causes meth eye discharge?

Meth eye discharge can be due to a combination of factors such as dehydration, lack of sleep, and potential eye irritation or infection aggravated by drug use.

ohio recovery centers facility from curb view, representing Meth eyes treatment

Get Treatment for Meth Addiction at Ohio Recovery

If you or someone you care about has been affected by meth blisters or meth eyes, you might consider engaging with evidence-based treatment for stimulant use disorder at Ohio Recovery Centers.

By choosing outpatient treatment at our rehab in Cincinnati, OH, you can fulfill your daily obligations while participating in therapy alongside peers facing similar issues.

There are no medications to treat meth addiction, so you will access talk therapies, motivational therapies, counseling, family therapy, and holistic treatments as you tackle the psychological side of stimulant use disorder. When you are ready to take action against stimulant abuse, call 877-679-2132 for effective and evidence-based treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn