Heavy coffee drinkers may be at an increased risk for vision problems.
What's a typical morning like for you? Maybe it involves putting on a pot of coffee and consuming a few cups before leaving the house. Perhaps you like to grab some freshly brewed java on the way to work, or guzzle a cup or two after lunch for a pick-me-up. No matter how you get your coffee fix, you might be putting yourself at risk: a new study has linked caffeine consumption with exfoliation glaucoma or exfoliation glaucoma suspect.
The study was composed of "78,977 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 41,202 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) who were at least 40 years of age, did not have glaucoma, and reported undergoing eye examinations from 1980 (NHS) or 1986 (HPFS) to 2008." Scientists tracked the participants' caffeine consumption through questionnaires and medical records, and found that those who consumed 500mg or more of caffeine per day were at a higher risk for glaucoma.
"Compared to abstainers," those who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were at a higher risk for the eye disease, which can permanently affect vision and even lead to blindness. There is some good news, however, if you prefer a non-coffee caffeine buzz. "We did not find associations with consumption of other caffeinated products (caffeinated soda, caffeinated tea, decaffeinated coffee or chocolate) and risk of EG/EGS."
This is alarming news if, like me, you permanently have a cup of coffee by your side; I can't even drive a car until I've consumed at least three cups in the morning. While your instinct (and mine) might be to panic, this is only the first study to link coffee and glaucoma, so there's more science to be done before we fully understand the relationship between them.