We at Eyecare 20/20 have some great news for you, some “good medicine,” so to speak, that we suspect you’ll be more than happy to take.

What are we talking about? We’re talking about the ways that being good to yourself can also be good for your eyes.

Intrigued?

We were too when we learned what we’re eager to share with you.

When your morning has begun too early or your day has been too long, doesn’t it feel good and revitalizing to sit down to a cup of hot, comforting, caffeinated tea?

If you think so, you’re in luck, because a recent study reported in the British Journal of Opthamology has linked drinking a daily cup of caffeinated tea to a whopping 74% decrease in being diagnosed with glaucoma. (Leave it to the Brits – one of the world’s largest tea consumers and practically the inventors of teatime as we know it today – to scientifically correlate teatime and eye health.)

Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye that may damage the optic nerve and, in extreme cases, lead to blindness. Glaucoma is the leading cause of vision loss and is on the rise worldwide, but studies like the one published in the British Journal of Opthamology strongly suggest that there are lifestyle factors that may mitigate or even prevent it.

Unfortunately, the study found no correlation in decreased risk for glaucoma with drinking any other kind of beverage, caffeinated or otherwise. In other words, when it comes to lowering glaucoma risk, that cup of coffee or caffeinated energy drink or herbal tea or diet soda isn’t going to cut it. This may have to do with caffeinated teas, unlike herbal varieties and other beverages, containing more phytochemicals and flavonoids and therefore anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may protect the nerves surrounding the eye.

Beyond the chemical composition in their cup, caffeinated tea drinkers may exhibit healthy behaviors that weren’t accounted for in the study but which may have invisibly contributed to the outcome data. For example, it’s possible that people who prefer caffeinated teas are more active, more health conscious, or evidence other behaviors that weren’t controlled for. Additionally, the study did not collect information about the type of tea consumed (black or green, for example), how the tea was brewed, and how long it was steeped.

What we do know for sure is that any lifestyle habit that has been linked to a decrease in glaucoma is worth practicing, especially when it’s as pleasurable as drinking a hot cup of tea.

If you have any questions about glaucoma screening or absolutely anything else related to your eyecare needs, we’re here to happily assist you! Give us a call today for the friendliest service in town! 

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