“Houston patients concerned with drinking too much coffee or having too much caffeine if they have glaucoma need not worry”, commented Galveston and Houston Ophthalmologist Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas. According to a study reported in the November 2011 issue of the journal Clinical Ophthalmology, the caffeine found in coffee really has no effect on people with Glaucoma in terms are elevating their intraocular pressure (IOP), but rather it is believed that other components that come from the coffee beans being roasted at high temperature may actually be responsible in patients whose IOP rises after drinking coffee or tea. Coffee and tea are very common nonalcoholic beverages. However, their intake, particularly that of coffee, has been suggested to increase intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with Open Angle Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension. The causative agent has been suggested to be their caffeine content. A study was done using pure caffeine applied directly to the eyes. Administration of caffeine into the eyes of patients did not have any effect on IOP and it remained relatively unchanged. This was true in the 1-day study as well as in the 1-week study and no cumulative effect was visible. The results therefore demonstrate that caffeine has no significant effect on IOP in patients with Glaucoma and that any effects reported in coffee drinkers may therefore be related to other constituents in coffee, known to be generated by thermal degradation from endogenous constituents of coffee beans by roasting at relatively high temperature, combined with the osmotic effects imposed by adequate fluid intake, known to be common in Glaucoma patients. Elevations in intraocular pressure related to drinking coffee or tea may be related to the volume of fluid ingested, rather than what is in the fluid.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Vision Correction such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

If you or someone you know is concerned about the risk of Glaucoma or consuming too much coffee or caffeine please feel free to schedule an appointment at The Eye Clinic of Texas by calling 800-423-3937.

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