Caffeine Could Increase Your Glaucoma Risk

October 12, 2012

Caffeine could increase eye pressure, leading to a greater chance of developing glaucoma later in life (glaucoma symptoms develop over years).

Specifically, the study followed coffee consumption, and found that as little as three or more cups per day (about 300mg) could affect your chances of developing glaucoma! So although you may need a little caffeine boost now and then, it’s a good reminder to go easy.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve that causes what is usually irreversible damage to your vision. Several factors can put your vision at risk, but the one you have most control over is pressure.

High blood pressure and similar factors can increase the amount of pressure on your eye—it’s why your eye doctor is now required to take your blood pressure at each visit. To check for developing glaucoma, they’ll also perform that (dreadful) test of puffing air into your eyes.

Since caffeine can impact dilation of blood vessels, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it also affects your eye health, though so many of us take our eye health for granted.

Regular check-ups as well as a healthy diet (including antioxidants—many vitamins are specifically needed by your eye) can help keep your eyes healthy.

And just for fun:

-While eating carrots supplies plenty of necessary Vitamin A to your eyes, they don’t magically improve your night vision. That rumor was spread during World War 2 to help conceal the fact that the British were using radar to help their small air fleet fight the much bigger invading one!

-Women and men have different eye strengths: women have more rods, allowing for better peripheral vision and night vision, while men’s eyes are made for a sharper central focus.

-Your eyes don’t grow—the size they are at birth are the size they are at adulthood (and why we associate big, round eyes with children/babies… thanks to evolution, the trait triggers a nurturing gene in most people).

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