Caffeine May Increase the Risk of Glaucoma

Caffeine May Boost Risk of Glaucoma

According to a gene-diet interaction study of over 120,000 individuals published in the Journal of Ophthalmology, drinking excessive amounts of caffeine increases the risk of developing glaucoma.

Glaucoma is among the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in individuals over 60. Although the exact reason why ocular optic nerve damage happens is unknown, healthcare professionals suggest that it’s linked to increased eye pressure.

Participants who claimed to drink around three cups of coffee daily and at the highest genetic predisposition for intraocular pressure displayed an almost four-fold higher chance of developing glaucoma than people who hardly (or never) drink caffeine and who have reduced genetic risks.

According to the research team, the study is the first to display a dietary genetic connection in glaucoma. However, researchers only found a relationship between glaucoma risk and caffeine with excessive coffee consumption in individuals with the highest genetic predisposition.

Dr. Anthony Khawaja, the co-author of the study and an ophthalmic surgeon at the University College London, stated that patients suffering from glaucoma often ask whether they can protect their vision by changing lifestyle habits. Based on the findings of this novel study, individuals with the highest genetic predisposition for glaucoma may benefit from limiting caffeine use.

All in all, experts recommend exercise, frequent eye exams, and eye protection to prevent vision loss and early glaucoma diagnosis.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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