Reaching for that first cup of coffee or iced coffee in the morning? You are probably not thinking much about how your first cup (or multiple cups) of morning joe effects your vision and overall health. For some, that first cup is a habit, and for others it’s a necessity to start the day. Over the years, studies have shown coffee to have both beneficial and adverse effects.
Adverse Effects on Vision
Most of the adverse effects of coffee have been related to its caffeine content
- Too much caffeine may cause involuntary eye twitches. Though not painful or dangerous, this condition can be quite annoying especially when trying to focus on work. The involuntary twitches are a result of caffeine causing rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels
- Caffeine may also reduce tear production leading to dry eyes. Short term this likely isn’t a problem. However, chronic dry eyes may lead to more infections, inflammation of the eyes, corneal abrasions and difficulty performing focus-intensive activities such as reading.
- Long term caffeine overdose – which experts say may come from drinking three or more cups of coffee per day – may lead to an increased likelihood of glaucoma. This is because caffeine causes an increase in eye pressure.
Beneficial Health Effects of Coffee:
Most studies that discuss beneficial effects of drinking coffee point out that coffee should be drank in moderation. While two 8oz cups a day may have a positive impact, several venti size coffees a day likely has a negative effect on overall health. Possible beneficial effects of coffee include:
- Nutrition: Coffee is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for your heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. Caffeinated and decaf coffee both have the same amount of antioxidants
- One study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center concluded drinking two to four 8oz cups per day may lead to an 11% lower risk of heart failure
- Coffee may reduce your risk of getting Type II Diabetes. One study found that drinking coffee can reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes by as much as 67%!
- Some studies have shown that coffee may protect you from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.
- Coffee appears to have a protective effect on the Liver
- Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of some types of cancers
- Those who drink coffee may have a lower risk of stroke
- Coffee can make you happier
- The caffeine in coffee can help you burn fat and improve energy levels
- Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease
Most of the harmful effects of coffee are caused from overconsumption of caffeine. In addition to the adverse effects related to vision mentioned previously, drinking more than four 8oz cups per day is considered overconsumption. Large amounts of coffee can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Early death
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Reduced fertility in women