Do you need a little extra jolt of caffeine to get going in the mornings or afternoons? Whether you enjoy a cup of joe, tea or soda, the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis may be adversely affecting your vision. With March being Caffeine Awareness Month, it is the perfect time to analyze your own caffeine habits and schedule an eye exam to stay informed about your eye health.

Effect of Coffee on Vision

A study published in 2012 by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) suggested that consuming large amounts of caffeinated coffee may increase the risk of vision loss. According to the study, “Heavy caffeinated coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma, the leading cause of secondary glaucoma worldwide.”

What Qualifies as “Heavy” Coffee Consumption?

In the ARVO study, researchers identified that consuming three cups or more of caffeinated coffee each day increased the risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma. The study did not link other forms of caffeine to glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a “silent” and slowly-progressing eye disease caused by increased pressure within the eye that eventually damages the optic nerve. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation has stated that consuming significant quantities of caffeine in a short period of time may elevate intraocular eye pressure – although there are other studies that do not indicate a connection. Regular spikes in eye pressure could damage the eyes over time.

Caffeine and Dry Eye

Even if you get your daily energy boost from other sources of caffeine besides coffee, you may still experience vision changes. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School released a study in 2004 that found caffeine increased the risk of dry eye. However, newer research in 2012 from the University of Tokyo’s School of Medicine has shown that caffeine may actually increase tear production, thereby reducing dry eye symptoms.

Symptoms of dry eye can include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning, itching eyes
  • Redness
  • Excessive watering
  • Eye fatigue
  • Feeling of foreign substance in the eyes

Should You Say Goodbye to Caffeine?

You probably don’t need to cut caffeine completely out of your diet. But, like most things in life, you should consume caffeine in moderation. Every person will be different in his or her ability to handle the effects of caffeine. Listen to your body and know when it’s time to cut back.

Don’t Ruin Your Efforts

If you have taken measures to improve your vision, like by having a LASIK vision correction procedure in Rancho Cucamonga, you don’t want to ruin your successful efforts by treating your eyesight poorly. Even if you have achieved 20/20 vision through LASIK, it is still important to have regular eye exams to stay informed of any “silent” vision changes, like glaucoma in Rancho Cucamonga, which may be happening without your knowledge.

To learn more about Rancho Cucamonga LASIK, contact Inland Eye Insitute today at 909-937-9230 to schedule your free LASIK Consultation.