Healthy Lifestyle Arena


New Tip to Lower Risk of Glaucoma by 74%

December 19
09:56 2017

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For many of us older folks, our vision gets worse as we get older. Many people who had normal vision most of their lives find themselves becoming more far-sighted as they get older.

I recall my dad getting more far-sighted by the time I reached high school. At the breakfast table, I would hold up the morning newspaper and had to turn the pages that I was reading and the pages on the opposite side that my dad was reading. His arms weren’t long enough to hold the paper far enough away to allow him to read it.

Around that time, we went on vacation up to Yellowstone National Park. Dad never wore his glasses then while driving. We pulled over to the side of the road to stretch our legs and I saw something on a distant hill and asked for the binoculars. My dad looked in the direction and said it was just a cow elk and he was right.

Fortunately, dad never lost his vision as he got older, but so many older adults do, and I’ve known some that did lose their vision and many of them lost it due to glaucoma. In fact, glaucoma is the second leading cause of vision loss in people over 40.

Glaucoma is a group of disorders that damage the optic nerve. Most people think of glaucoma as too much pressure in the eye, but this is only one form. The most common form of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma that slowly develops often leaving the person totally unaware they have it until they begin to notice significant vision loss. Once detected, it needs to be treated because if left untreated, it caused permanent damage to the optic nerve that will result in vision loss and even blindness.

The less common form of glaucoma is acute angle-closure glaucoma. It comes on quickly as a result of a sudden increase in pressure in the eye. It causes red and irritating eyes, nausea and can form halos or colored rings around lights as you look at them. It too causes damage to the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Don’t be despaired if you are worried about developing glaucoma as there is new research that sheds light on an easy way to reduce the risk of developing glaucoma:

“Now researchers delving into the question of whether caffeine could affect pressure inside the eye say they have found that drinking hot tea appears to be linked to a lower risk of glaucoma.”

“Writing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers in the US describe how they analysed data from a 2005-2006 nationwide health and nutrition survey, looking at the results of eye examinations from 1,678 participants aged 40 or over.”

“They also analysed the participants’ responses to a questionnaire about how often they had drunk coffee, hot tea, soft drinks or iced tea in the past year, and whether those drinks were caffeinated or decaffeinated…”

“There was no link between drinking coffee, soft drinks or iced tea and having glaucoma, whether the drinks were decaffeinated or not, nor between glaucoma and decaffeinated hot tea.”

“But, the team noted, there did appear to be a link to hot tea in general, with those consuming more than six cups of the brew a week less likely to have the condition even when factors such as age, body mass index, smoking and diabetes were taken into account.”

“Overall, the chance of having glaucoma – compared with not having it – was 74% lower among those who drank hot tea in such quantities.”

I’m not a tea drinker, mostly because the taste of it makes me sick, but if it didn’t, reports like this may cause me to reconsider. A 74% reduction in the risk of developing glaucoma is pretty significant and should be of interest to many older Americans.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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