A new study put out by UCLA and Brown University found that people who drink hot tea every day have a reduced risk of developing glaucoma.
Scientists sent out 1,600 surveys asking study participants questions concerning their drinking habits and eye health. After analyzing all of the data, researchers found that people who drank just one cup of hot tea every day had a 74 percent reduced risk of developing glaucoma.
Interestingly, people who regularly drank iced tea and/or decaf tea didn’t gain the same eye health benefits as people who drank hot caffeinated tea. Scientists also said people who drank hot coffee every day didn’t show any improvements in fighting glaucoma.
Anne Coleman, an ophthalmologist at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, was the head researcher on this project. According to Dr. Coleman, the flavonoids found in hot tea protect our eyes from the inflammation that’s associated with glaucoma.
In the past, researchers have shown the benefits of increased flavonoid consumption in animal tests. Dr. Coleman said she is excited to perform clinical trials in the future to get a clearer understanding of the benefits of hot tea for glaucoma prevention.
After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness around the world. An estimated 2.2 million Americans now have the most common form of this eye disease known as open-angle glaucoma.
All versions of glaucoma adversely affect a person’s retinae. While there’s no treatment for glaucoma, doctors can slow the disease’s progression with intraocular pressure reducing drops and laser eye surgery.
Most people who have glaucoma don’t experience visual symptoms until the disease has progressed a great deal. Eye doctors recommend everyone over the age of 40 schedule a yearly eye exam to check for glaucoma and other serious diseases.
A few other scientists involved in this research include Doctors Annie M. Wu and Connie M. Wu, both of whom teach at the Warren Alpert Medical School in Brown University.
Anyone interested in reading the entire study should pick up the latest copy of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. This article was published under the title, “Frequency of a diagnosis of glaucoma in individuals who consume coffee, tea and/or soft drinks.”