A nice warm cup of tea a day might keep glaucoma at bay, according to new research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Risk of developing Glaucoma — one of the leading causes of blindness around the world that currently affects nearly 58 million people — might be lowered by drinking hot tea daily. The disease causes fluid to build up inside the eye that puts pressure onto the optic nerve.
Previous research said that caffeine might prevent this accumulation but the new findings showed that drinking decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea, iced tea and caffeinated sodas had no effect on glaucoma risk.
In the new study, researchers looked at the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the 2005-2006 year of 10,000 adults and children. The data is from interviews with the patients, their physical exams and blood tests. That specific year also included eye tests for glaucoma in 1678 adults and showed that about 5% (84) had the disease.
Those patients were asked how many caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks they consumed during that year and how often. The results of the questionnaire showed that those who drank hot tea daily were 74% less likely to develop glaucoma than their peers who didn’t.
Tea contains anti-inflammatories, neuroprotective chemicals and antioxidants that have been long-established to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, the researchers said. But further study is needed to determine if other factors like the size of the cup, type of tea and length of brew time influence the results.