Can Too Much Coffee Cause Glaucoma?

Can too much coffee cause glaucoma? Yes, no, and maybe. A recent study published in the June edition of Ophthalmology determined that consuming large amounts of caffeine daily increased the risk of glaucoma by more than three fold for those with a genetic predisposition for higher eye pressure. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and often goes undetected for years since itโ€™s first impact is on peripheral vision. Although many factors contribute to glaucoma, high intraocular pressure is an important risk factor in the disease as well as being the primary target of glaucoma drops whose goal is to decrease elevated eye pressure. Researchers studied the relationship between caffeine, eye pressure and patients who had glaucoma, and concluded that caffeine intake was not associated with causing glaucoma or high eye pressure overall, BUT, in patients with a high genetic predisposition to elevated eye pressure, greater caffeine consumption was associated with higher eye pressure and higher prevalence of glaucoma. So how much caffeine are we talking about? The study determined that patients who consumed more than 321 mg of caffeine (about 3 cups) were at risk for high eye pressure and glaucoma, but again, only if they were in that high genetic risk category.ย 

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