Shots through the eye and you go blind

Vodka eyeballing is not sweeping the nation, but it is making headlines.

by Kaite Wielgos

Vodka eyeballing. Never heard of it? DonâÄôt worry, youâÄôre not alone. This activity caught my attention before spring break. It consists of pouring vodka into the eye rather than consuming it through the mouth like a normal person. It seems people who try this must be bored with the traditional ways of getting drunk or lack common sense. IâÄôd bet on the latter.

In 2010, vodka eyeballing was brought over from England to college campuses in the U.S. The hysterical tone of media reports portray vodka eyeballing as epidemic on college campuses. But when I attempted to interview people at the University of Minnesota about vodka eyeballing, they all gave me the same baffled look. From these attempts, I believe the trendâÄôs prevalence may be exaggerated.

Perhaps vodka eyeballing is rare because most students can guess the risks associated with it. Medical experts agree that pouring alcohol on the eye could lead to scarring of the cornea, potentially leading to blindness.

For those who do vodka eyeballing, I think they try it due to a lack of common sense and because of the belief that alcohol passing through the cornea directly to the bloodstream will result in a quicker buzz. Science tells us thatâÄôs not the case.

Knowing the risks, I believe my fellow Gophers are wise to avoid taking shots in their eye. If you canâÄôt resist that temptation, at the very least donâÄôt share evidence of your stunt with the world by posting videos of it on YouTube.

But if there are students bored with old ways of getting drunk, try something new. Sip your shot through a crazy straw or challenge yourself by pouring the shot a foot away from your face. Whatever way you do try, leave those eyeballs alone.

Even if youâÄôre one of those people who like to “live life on the edge,” vodka eyeballing should be left untried. Not having that experience is far superior to having to provide a humiliating answer when someone asks “So, just how did you go blind in that eye?”