Coffee generates more controversies than any other drinks in the world today. While many studies tout for the health benefits of coffee especially on the heart and other parts of the body, emerging studies linking coffee to deleterious clinical condition cannot be ignored. Fresh study linking moderate to heavy coffee consumption to glaucoma has just been published in the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science journal.
Glaucoma is simply an increased intraocular pressure (or we say hypertension of the eye) which accounts for most blindness in our community. The study summarizes as thus “…compared with people who abstained from caffeinated coffee, participants who drank three or more cups daily, were at an increased state of developing glaucoma exfoliation or glaucoma suspect”. Glaucoma exfoliation or glaucoma suspect are two categories of damage to optic nerves with resultant visual loss.
As usual I don’t intend to take us to medical classroom but I want you to heed to this warning. Blindness is not the best for anyone. I love the aroma of coffee but I cannot take it because I develop palpitation afterward which gives discomfort more than pleasure. I believe many people would have experienced these effects on their system. Coffee is like two edged sword that should be handled with caution.
Coffee is a drink containing caffeine and with a mildly stimulating effect that is made from the ground or processed seeds of a tropical tree. Most A.M coffee drinkers don’t realize it, but their morning cups of coffee set their bodies up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows, only to bottom out at the point of exhaustion. Just a few hours after consumption, when the artificial high dies down, many people my reach for more coffee or something sugary to get another lift, leading to daily fluctuations in energy and alertness, and possibly to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion. Its consumption can result in physiological and psychological symptoms whenever consumption drops below levels your body has been conditioned to expect.
It is common knowledge that drinking too much coffee can lead to experiencing the jitters, as well as insomnia. But these two are not the only side effects that you can encounter when having too much caffeine in your system. Caffeine is good because it gives you a popping burst of energy and can keep you on your toes – at least for a couple of hours. That is because caffeine blocks adenosine, which is a chemical in the body that tells it to shut down when tired. However, keeping the adenosine in the body continuously blocked is not something to be desired. After the initial caffeine high, the bad things that caffeine is known for sets in. Other side effects of excessive consumption of coffee had earlier been discussed in this column.
Drinking a few cups of coffee per day is considered moderate intake. If you drink 10 or more than 8 cups of coffee each day, you are likely to suffer from a series of side effects. Dehydration, nausea, rapid heartbeat, shaking and difficulty sleeping are just some of the side effects of drinking too much coffee. But this linkage with blindness starts when you exceed three cups per day especially if you have family history of glaucoma.
Also, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, caffeine consumption can cause more damage from heart palpitations and increased heart rate. Blood pressure can increase with caffeine use, so if you already suffer from high blood pressure, be cautious. The caffeine in coffee may also have negative interactions with any medications you might be taking.
Until another larger study states otherwise, I want to suggest we abide by this current warning. I know Scientists will argue for and against the submission but what is important is that prevention is far better and cheaper than cure, even if all health facilities are available. Despite the finding, Dr Mark Fromer won’t be drinking less coffee—yet. “It will register in my mind,” he said “I don’t think all answers are in, but its useful information. But do I think everyone should change their habits yet? Probably not.”
My esteemed readers we cannot afford to think like Fromer. If you have glaucoma or family history of glaucoma please limit or avoid coffee.
If you drink a few cups of coffee a day, the result is harmless. Drinking three cups of coffee per day, however, is considered risky and is a habit that is better avoided. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of excessive coffee drinking, as well as to develop an awareness of the withdrawal symptoms you might experience as you work to reduce your caffeine intake.
On the whole, a few cups of coffee each day will not harm you. Be sure, however, to check with a medical professional if you feel any unusual symptoms. As the old adage says “All things in moderation”. This includes coffee as well.
I want you to send your opinion for us to have a common front on the use of coffee and blindness Nigeria experiences please.
As you enjoy this blissful weekend, remember your heart is of the size of your fist. As small as it is, no heart, no life, and then keep your heart healthy.