Using Eye Drops to Treat Glaucoma



Did You Just Up Your Glaucoma Risk?

If you’re only on your second cup of coffee today, you can relax while you read this. But if you’re enjoying your third? We have some eye-opening news for you: Heavy coffee consumption has been linked to a greater risk for glaucoma, finds new research from the Harvard Medical School. 

The Harvard team kept tabs on the diet and eye-health records of roughly 120,000 men and women, all of whom were over age 40 and had no history of glaucoma. After nearly 30 years, the data revealed that those who consumed three or more daily cups of joe daily were 66% more likely to develop a type of glaucoma called “exfoliation glaucoma,” or EG, which accounts for roughly 10% of all glaucoma cases. 

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What exactly is EG? Put simply, protein fibers and tiny fragments of your eye’s pigment come loose, build up, and eventually block the fluid in your eye from draining properly. Poor draining leads to an increase in pressure within your eyeball, which can eventually cause glaucoma and loss of vision, according to the Glaucoma Foundation. The risk varies by race and gender, but women of northern European descent are most vulnerable to glaucoma. 

More from Prevention:Soothe Strained Eyes With Yoga

Before you switch to decaf, the researchers say that while they’re not sure exactly how coffee contributes to the development of glaucoma, theydoknow that caffeine isn’t to blame—other caffeinated beverages, like tea and soda, didn’t have a similar glaucoma link.

The study defined a cup as 8 ounces, so if you’re keeping your daily habit to a grande-sized Starbucks coffee or smaller, you’re in good shape. But Venti drinkers may want to scale down. There's no need to give up your habit entirely (phew), as coffee has been shown to lower your risk for skin cancer, reduce joint pain, and even lower the risk of depression. But the key to coffee’s benefits—like everything else in life—is to enjoy it in moderation.  

Try these two strategies to help keep your eyes healthy: 

Give them a break:Staring at a computer screen for hours each day can strain your eyes, causing everything from headaches to eventual loss of vision, says Clayton Blehm, MD, an ophthalmologist and UT-Houston grad who has published research on “computer vision syndrome.” Dr. Blehm recommends giving your eyes a short break every 15 minutes. Just stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, and blink often to keep your peepers moist, he advises. 

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Eat for eye health:Leafy, dark green vegetables like spinach and kale contain two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—that lower the amount of damage cause by sun exposure by up to 60% when eaten regularly, finds an Ohio State University study. The same study found that vitamin E, which is found in foods such as sunflower seeds and almonds, is also a great eye-health booster.  

More from Prevention:5 Signs You've Had Too Much Caffeine

Markham Heid Markham Heid is an experienced health reporter and writer, has contributed to outlets like TIME, Men’s Health, and Everyday Health, and has received reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland, Delaware, and D.C.





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Date: 10.12.2018, 14:56 / Views: 91191