Folks with a father or mother or sibling recognized with glaucoma ought to contemplate limiting caffeine to the quantity in two cups of coffee a day, says Louis Pasquale, MD, an ophthalmology professor at Mount Sinai Well being System in New York Metropolis.
“It’s a suggestion,” he says. “It’s not one thing set in stone, however should you’re fascinated by lowering your danger of the illness, it’s one thing I’d undoubtedly entertain.”
Pascale and his colleagues reported their findings in Ophthalmology.
Glaucoma causes injury to the optic nerve, typically from elevated stress from a buildup of fluid inside the attention. It may well trigger blindness.
The illness is extra widespread in folks with shut members of the family who’ve it. And researchers have recognized variants in a number of genes which can be extra widespread in folks with glaucoma.
In earlier research, individuals who take massive doses of caffeine have had short-term will increase in eye stress. So researchers have questioned whether or not getting caffeine over a protracted time period may pose a danger.
To assist reply that query, Pasquale and his colleagues appeared on the information of greater than 100,000 folks. The information got here from the UK Biobank, a big survey carried out in the UK. The information included info on sufferers’ genes, how a lot tea or espresso they drank, their eye stress, and whether or not they had glaucoma.
Taking a look at all of the contributors collectively, the researchers didn’t discover any elevated danger of glaucoma from caffeine. In actual fact, they discovered that individuals who acquired essentially the most caffeine really had barely decrease eye stress.
However after they appeared solely at folks whose genes have been related to glaucoma, they discovered that caffeine was linked to larger common eye stress and likewise to the next danger of glaucoma.
That was significantly true after they appeared on the 25% of people that acquired greater than 321 milligrams of caffeine — the equal of three cups of espresso — a day. When these folks have been additionally within the high 25% of genetic danger for elevated eye stress, that they had a a lot larger danger of glaucoma. They have been virtually 4 instances extra prone to have the illness than individuals who didn’t devour caffeine and have been on the lowest 25% genetic danger.
The researchers discovered that the mixture of caffeine and genes elevated the chance of glaucoma greater than the genes alone.
The researchers couldn’t discover a statistical hyperlink to larger eye stress or glaucoma for espresso, just for tea. However that’s seemingly due to a statistical drawback, says research co-author Anthony Khawaja, affiliate professor on the College Faculty London Institute of Ophthalmology. “The reply is kind of easy− the UK is a tea consuming nation!” he says in an electronic mail. There have been in all probability not sufficient folks within the database who drink massive quantities of espresso to investigate their glaucoma danger.
Folks in each the highest 25% for genetic danger and high 25% for tea consuming (3 to six cups of tea a day), have been virtually 3 times as prone to have glaucoma in comparison with these within the lowest 25% for tea consuming and lowest 25% for genetic danger.
Nevertheless, any such research can’t show that caffeine will increase the chance of glaucoma or excessive eye stress, even amongst folks with a genetic danger, Pasquale says. He and his colleagues wish to do a follow-up research by which they provide caffeine to teams of individuals with totally different genetic dangers, then examine the results on eye stress.
Sufferers mustn’t depend on altering their caffeine consumption as a method of treating their glaucoma, says Asaf Achiron, MD, an ophthalmologist on the Sackler College of Drugs in Tel Aviv, Israel, who has studied the connection of life-style and eye stress. Caffeine didn’t have an enormous impact for most individuals within the research, he factors out.
“Glaucoma is a fancy illness. In some circumstances it continues to progress even when [eye pressure] is lowered by the drops so clearly there are extra points right here than stress,” he says in an electronic mail.
Nonetheless, the discovering is perhaps value mentioning to sufferers, he says. “I do not talk about tea with my sufferers simply measure their [eye pressure]. Maybe I ought to.”