Hooch blindness: a community study report on a few indoor patients of toxic optic neuropathy following consumption of adulterated alcohol in West Bengal

SK Samanta, K Fariduddin, N Mahapatra, J Bhunia, P Mondal

Abstract

Introduction: Hooch blindness following consumption of adulterated alcohol has been known for centuries.

Objective: To study cases of mass alcohol intoxication followed by Hooch blindness in eastern India.

Materials and methods: Ten patients of toxic amblyopia collected from a community mass intoxication following consumption of adulterated alcohol were studied. The parameters studied were the findings of ocular examination, applanation tonometry, automated perimetry and visual-evoked potential (VEP). As a part of the special investigations fundus photography and OCT were done. Routine blood examination, fasting lipid profile, postprandial blood sugar estimation were done . All patients were treated with injections of methyl prednisolone and Hydroxy cobalamine, antioxidants and local neuro-protective agents.

Results: Along with diminished vision (from NPL to 3/60), marked pallor of the disc without any other retinal change were noted. The amplitude on VEP was significantly reduced. However, visual improvement (up to 6/18) in 7 patients was observed within 6 weeks of treatment.

Conclusion: Hooch blindness in India can be prevented by creating awareness among the target population and reducing the cost of country liquor.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/nepjoph.v4i1.5868

NEPJOPH 2012; 4(1): 162-164

Keywords

hooch blindness; toxic optic neuropathy; adulterated alcohol
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