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Does drinking coffee damage your vision?
Medically reviewed by Sharon Copeland on 19/04/2021
For many of us, caffeine is part of our daily routine and drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning is a must. According to the NHS, drinking coffee carries no health risk, however too much of it (as with anything) can be bad for you.
Drinking an excessive amount of coffee won’t necessarily damage your vision but could have a lasting effect in the long-term. Some studies have hinted at a possible link between coffee and the development of exfoliation glaucoma, however found no direct correlation. With that in mind, it’s still a smart idea to keep your coffee intake down as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What effects does coffee have on your eyes?
Drinking too much caffeine may affect your eyes in several ways. Some find that consuming large amounts of coffee reduces tear production and causes dry eyes. This includes symptoms of discomfort and a burning or gritty sensation. Over time, if dry eyes are not treated, through reduced caffeine intake or medical help, chronic dry eyes can lead to a greater risk of eye infections, blurred vision and photophobia (light sensitivity) and make your eyes more susceptible to scratches.
Long-term high caffeine intake can also have permanent consequences. One study found that the risk of developing glaucoma is greater in individuals who drink more than four cups of coffee (400mg caffeine) per day. However, we must also consider other factors including age, weight, health and smoking habits, which have contributed towards the findings.
Ingesting too much coffee can also cause you to see flashes of light. If you experience this, you should stop consuming caffeine as it may be an indication of an overdose. You should make sure you see your doctor right away.
Another side effect of drinking too much coffee is blurred vision. This is caused when blood sugar levels rise or drop, resulting in the inability to see clearly. An excessive consumption of coffee or caffeinated beverages can suddenly increase blood sugar levels, which can lead to blurred vision or spasms of the eyelid (jumping eye). Drinking too much caffeine can also cause a burning sensation and may make your eyes a little tingly.
Can caffeine raise your eye pressure?
Research shows that drinking caffeinated drinks, especially coffee, can not only raise your blood pressure but also causes eye pressure to increase. This is true from even just one cup of coffee a day and strongly suggests that drinking more than four cups of caffeinated coffee might not be good for your eye health.
What are high blood pressure's effects on the eyes?
High blood pressure which can be caused by drinking too much coffee can damage your retina and lead to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision and even a complete loss of vision.
High blood pressure can also cause a build-up of fluid under the retina. This is referred to as choroidopathy and can cause scarring that impairs vision.
Optic neuropathy (nerve damage) is also caused as a result of high blood pressure and can cause bleeding in your eye and vision loss.
Can caffeine increase eye floaters?
Reducing the amount of caffeine consumption and following a magnesium rich diet can help to prevent eye floaters. Both coffee and alcohol in this case can have adverse effects on the eyes.
Can caffeine cause visual hallucinations?
People who drink more than seven cups of instant coffee are considered 3 times more likely to experience hallucinations which can be considered psychotic if they interfere with daily functioning. Seven cups of instant coffee contains 315 mg of caffeine which is the equivalent of six cups of strong tea, four red bulls and nine coca colas.
Is drinking tea good for your eyes?
Drinking tea can be beneficial for your eyes, however this will depend on the type of tea you are drinking. For example, green tea offers incredible benefits including antioxidants and nutrients. In normal tea, however, it’s important to note that tea leaves contain more caffeine than coffee. But we consume less caffeine in tea as the caffeine content is usually extracted instantly while brewing. It’s important to remember that caffeine can be found in many things besides tea and coffee, and that we must be careful not to overconsume it.
Is coffee good for your eyesight?
Health benefits from drinking coffee include a lowered risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Moderate coffee drinking is perfectly safe, while you can try to adjust the amount you drink if you feel it is too much. NHS experts say that it is recommended to have up to 400mg of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to four cups of coffee. So, if you already start off the day with coffee, there’s no reason to stop.
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