Have you been considering dropping your morning cup of coffee because you’re concerned it may be drying out your already dry eyes? Although caffeinated coffee has a diuretic effect on the body and can leave you feeling dehydrated, it may have the opposite effect on your eyes.
At in Bristol, we treat dry eye syndrome (DES) so you don’t have to suffer any longer from dry, irritated eyes.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes aren’t properly hydrated. This is often caused by insufficient or poor-quality tears and can be brought on by certain medications, aging, hormonal changes, eye gland dysfunction, environmental irritants, allergies, excessive screen time and some medical conditions.
Symptoms of DES typically include red, itchy, irritated, burning eyes, sensitivity to light and blurry vision.
Effectively treating DES involves identifying and targeting the underlying cause of symptoms, which is what your optometrist does during a dry eye exam. Lifestyle changes can also benefit your condition, which includes incorporating omega-3’s in your diet and perhaps now—coffee?
How Does Coffee Affect The Eyes?
Aside from helping to keep your eyes open, caffeinated coffee can boost tear production according to several small-scale studies.
A chemical compound called xanthine is naturally found in coffee and has been shown to increase tear production when applied to the eye topically. While more large-scale research is needed to determine if it has the same effect when ingested, preliminary studies suggest that it does.
A 2022 study published in Review of Optometry found that a daily caffeine intake of over 285 mg was associated with a decreased risk of a DES diagnosis. The study also found that consuming decaffeinated coffee was associated with an increased risk of DES.
Dry Eye Treatment in Bristol
If your eyes are giving you any trouble – with or without your morning cup of Joe –
To schedule your dry eye consultation, call in Bristol today!