Have you ever wondered how do our favourite hot drinks affect our eye health? If not, let’s find out now.
Drinking tea is a great comfort to many of us. Some of us enjoy experimenting with different flavours and blends whilst others stick to their favourite teabag or brand. Countless teas are great at maintaining eye health, but here are a few that stand out:
Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, green tea helps fight free radicals (which cause diseases in the body). Green tea contains special antioxidants called flavanoids that protect the eyes against AMD (age-related macular degeneration), cataracts and glaucoma. There are even different types of flavonoids, one being gallocatechin. This particular flavonoid collects in the retina and protects it from UV rays.
High in vitamin A, Chrysanthemum tea is great for maintaining eye health and vision. Vitamin A is essential in keeping the corneas in your eyes healthy. A lack of vitamin A can cause the cornea to thicken which impairs vision and could cause vision loss.
Lycium Barbarum Tea
Lycium Barbarum is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C along with other essential vitamins. Beta-carotene has been proven to improve eyesight, it is the same vitamin in carrots which maintains healthy eyes, and it is the mineral that gives vegetables their orange colour. Vitamin C is great for helping the body create connective tissue. This is good for the muscles in the eye and the cornea.
Drinking black tea has been proven to lower the risk of developing cataracts. Drinking black tea without sugar is better for overall health in comparison to drinking sugary drinks or sweet caffeinated drinks.
Furthermore, many dry eye sufferers have been advised to avoid caffeine to help keep symptoms from flaring. A lot of people have been trying to swap their caffeinated drinks for some of the tea listed above. However, research has shown that caffeine may not necessarily be bad for our eye health.
What’s wrong with caffeine?
Caffeine is argued to be bad for dry eyes as it’s a diuretic. This means it promotes diuresis, that is, the increased production of urine. This dehydrates the body by over stimulating organs including the bladder causing water to flush through the bladder more frequently, depleting hydration in the body.
What’s right with caffeine?
Research also shows that caffeine can stimulate tear production. For those that have blocked tear ducts, caffeine may be able to increase your tear production to clear the blockage. However, those that suffer from over tearing should avoid caffeine as your body is already overcompensating for your dry eyes by producing extra tears.
What do people say?
A study was done, with people reducing their caffeine intake as suggested by their eye doctor. Some sufferers reported giving up caffeine made no effect on their dry eye and others reported giving up made a considerable improvement.
What does this mean?
With the conflicting research and conflicting opinions from real dry eye sufferers, there is no conclusive answer to whether caffeine is bad or good for eye health. It is recommended that if you already have caffeine in your diet, try to cut down to see if your symptoms improve. After a few weeks if you find that your symptoms remain the same, experiment with increasing your intake.
Caffeine increases heart rate and is dangerous if over consumed. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume too much caffeine. Contact your GP before changing your caffeine intake or if you’d like to discuss any potential changes to your treatment plan for your dry eyes.
I-DEW Eye Drops:
Our eye drops are suitable for contact lenses and we’ve created two regular eye drops, one for daytime use and the other for overnight use. We’re specialists in ocular products and can provide advice as we’re pharmacists. For help with specific problems, we recommend to contact your local services.