Some research suggests a link between how much coffee you drink and your risk of developing glaucoma if you have a family history. But no evidence suggests that coffee causes glaucoma or blindness.
A quick internet search of whether coffee causes blindness brings up many articles with alarmist and misleading titles.
Many of these articles reference statistics from a
In this study, researchers found that adults who drank 3 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 66% higher risk of developing glaucoma than those who didn’t drink coffee.
Many news outlets misinterpreted this as meaning coffee causes glaucoma or blindness. But the results of the study didn’t find a cause-effect relationship, and more research is needed to understand the connection fully. Some other studies suggest that coffee may have benefits for your lens and retina.
Stay with us as we examine what the latest research has found about how drinking coffee affects your eyesight.
The relationship between coffee consumption and your eyesight is complex, and it’s likely that coffee affects people in different ways.
Glaucoma is a group of conditions characterized by damage to your optic nerve. It’s the
What the research says
In the same
People who consumed 500 milligrams (mg) or more of caffeine per day trended toward having a higher risk of glaucoma than people who consumed less than 125 mg of caffeine per day. But the difference wasn’t statistically significant.
In a smaller
There’s also increasing
Who’s at risk for glaucoma?
Risk factors for glaucoma include:
- being over age 40
- having a family history
- being of African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage
- having high eye pressure
- previous eye injury
- having some medical conditions like
- high blood pressure
- problems that affect circulation
- thinning of the optic nerve
- having a thin cornea in the center
- long-term steroid use
- being farsighted or nearsighted
Some evidence suggests drinking coffee is linked to a decreased risk of cataracts. Cataracts are cloudy areas that form over your lens. They’re the
Although researchers are still studying the connection, caffeine may inhibit
- Undergo regular eye exams according to the schedule recommended by the American Optometric Association.
- Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to prevent diabetes.
- Eat plenty of dark leafy greens and fatty fish.
- Find out if you have a family history of eye disease.
- Protect your eyes when playing sports and activities with a high risk of eye injury.
- Wear sunglasses when out in the sun.
- Avoid smoking, or try to quit if you currently smoke.
- Take regular breaks from your computer screen to reduce eyestrain.
Research is mixed on whether drinking coffee increases your risk of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. The strongest evidence suggests that drinking very high amounts of caffeine may increase the risk of glaucoma in certain people with a family history.
Some evidence suggests that coffee may help protect your eyes against cataracts or retinal damage. More research is needed to understand the relationship.