While heredity is a primary risk factor for most eye conditions, your diet and lifestyle choices are also strong factors to be considered. In fact, certain studies show that caffeine, a main component of coffee, can increase eye pressure. That’s why many are now wondering if patients with glaucoma can safely consume caffeinated beverages.
Here’s what your eye doctor has to say:
What Is Glaucoma?
When fluid volume increases, so does pressure. This rule applies to your eyes. When the fluid inside your eyes rises, the pressure rises as well. As a result, the optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries signals from your eyes to your brain, becomes compressed. Without immediate management, it could be eventually damaged, leading to a potentially sight-robbing condition called glaucoma.
Does Caffeine Worsen Glaucoma?
Since glaucoma is essentially caused by increased intraocular pressure, your optometrist explains it’s best to avoid things that could trigger this pressure to further rise. Some studies show that caffeine, a primary component of coffee, stimulates the production of eye fluids. In turn, this could mean that drinking caffeinated drinks can increase intraocular pressure.
However, there are also some experts who have disproved this theory. In fact, a group of scientists have tried applying caffeinated eye drops directly to the eyes of a healthy person. Results show no increase in eye pressure, suggesting that caffeine doesn’t have a direct effect on intraocular pressure. Since there’s no solid evidence showing that coffee causes a clinically significant rise in eye pressure, then drinking coffee is not a major risk for patients with glaucoma.
What Should Glaucoma Patients Do?
With no scientific conclusions whether glaucoma patients should drink coffee or not, many experts lean toward the idea of “keeping everything in moderation.” It may also be best to see your eye doctor so you can have a comprehensive eye examination. During your visit, you can also discuss your caffeine use and other diet and lifestyle concerns.
To learn more about glaucoma or other eye health concerns, you can reach us at (847) 550-3524 for Lake Zurich or (847) 979-4601 for Libertyville to schedule an appointment. We serve Gurnee, Vernon Hills and the surrounding communities.