Coffee and Glaucoma
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Caffeine consumption is widespread, with 80% of the US population older than 45 consuming caffeine daily. The most common source is coffee, of which the average American consumes 2-3 cups daily. A recent study has shown that caffeine consumption increases intraocular pressure (IOP), but also increases ocular perfusion pressure (OPP – or the flow of blood to the eye). As long as the IOP and OPP increase proportionately, the effect on the optic nerve should be minimal. While the effect of this proportional rise hasn’t been determined, at least we have learned that caffeine can affect eye pressure! Also, while no studies have shown that glaucoma patients should avoid caffeine, it may be reasonable to suggest lowering the amount consumed. Learn more about caffeine and intraocular pressure.