Caffeine Can Damage Your Eyes

Caffeine can damage your eyes and more than triple your risk of glaucoma. This is because high caffeine consumption can lead to high eye pressure, which is one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause blindness.

Caffeine: a risk factor for glaucoma

Anyone who consumes a lot of caffeine every day can increase their risk of developing glaucoma (glaucoma). In people who are genetically prone to glaucoma (i.e. who have a family history of glaucoma), the risk is almost four times higher. After macular degeneration, glaucoma is the eye disease that most often leads to blindness. The disease usually develops insidiously, so it is only noticed at an advanced stage, namely when visual disturbances have already occurred.

Caffeine increases eye pressure

Increased eye pressure is considered an important risk factor for glaucoma. If you belong to the risk group for glaucoma, you can avoid those factors that lead to high eye pressure. According to a study, caffeine is one of these factors. The study was conducted by the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai and published in the journal Ophthalmology in June 2021.

It examined the data of more than 120,000 participants from the years between 2006 and 2010. The participants were between 39 and 73 years old. It was found that people with a strong genetic predisposition to high eye pressure developed glaucoma particularly frequently if they consumed a lot of caffeine.

Three cups of coffee a day four times the risk of glaucoma

Those who consumed more than 480 mg of caffeine daily (about 4 150 ml cups of coffee) had an eye pressure that was 0.35 mmHg higher than patients who consumed little or no caffeine. (From 24 mmHg one speaks of high eye pressure, between 10 and 20 mmHg there is normal eye pressure).

Patients in the group with the highest genetic predisposition to high eye pressure had almost four times the risk of developing glaucoma if they consumed more than 321 mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to just under 3 cups of coffee (compared to the low-caffeine -Consumers without genetic predisposition).

Reduce caffeine consumption if you have an increased risk of glaucoma

“Glaucoma patients often ask what they could do to protect their eye health, what dietary or lifestyle changes would be necessary, an area that has received little scientific attention to date,” says study author Dr. Anthony Khawaja, Professor of Ophthalmology at University College London (UCL) and Eye Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

So far, it has not been possible to give an answer to this question from the point of view of conventional medicine. According to the above study, however, ophthalmologists can at least give the tip that people with glaucoma in the family should definitely check their caffeine consumption and, if necessary, reduce it.

How to prevent glaucoma

Of course, caffeine isn’t just found in coffee, so if you want to limit your caffeine intake, you should also avoid or limit the consumption of other products that contain caffeine, such as energy drinks, caffeinated soft drinks (cola), and caffeinated chocolate (eg. B. with coffee filling).

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