Drinking tea might help reduce glaucoma risk, new study concludes

Drinking tea might help reduce glaucoma risk, new study concludes

Drinking tea might help reduce glaucoma risk, new study concludes

Glaucoma is an eye condition in which fluid pressure inside the eye causes systematic damage to the optic nerve.

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) - Individuals who consume hot tea daily may have a lower risk of developing glaucoma, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Writing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers in the USA describe how they analysed data from a 2005-2006 nationwide health and nutrition survey, looking at the results of eye examinations from 1,678 participants aged 40 or over. It is estimated that, by 2020, the number of people affected by glaucoma may increase to 65.5 million.

The findings revealed that compared with those who didn't drink hot tea every day, those who did, had a lower glaucoma risk.

The survey used a range of tools, including interviews, physical examinations, and blood samples, aiming to give a detailed pictured of health in the United States population.

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The 2005-06 NHANES also included eye tests for glaucoma for 1678 participants, among whom 5% (84 adults) were identified with the condition.

"No study to date has compared the effects of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, tea, and soft drinks on glaucoma", write the researchers.

Previous studies have suggested that caffeine plays a role in glaucoma.

Tea-drinkers were 74 per cent less likely to develop the eye disease, according to a study which looked at the eyesight and food and drink habits of 1,678 people in America.

Reports show that drinking decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea, iced tea and soft drinks doesn't reduce to glaucoma risk.

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As the study was observational, firm conclusions on the cause and effect can not be drawn. However, the association was not significant for decaffeinated hot tea and glaucoma.

The antioxidants present in tea and anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective chemicals, which have been associated with a lowered risk of serious conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, in the past.

And there are other limitations, including a lack of data on the type of tea drunk, that participants could have drunk multiple types of beverage, possible errors in diagnosis of glaucoma, and the fact that very few participants had glaucoma - and very few of them drank hot tea.

"Further research is needed to establish the importance of these findings", the researchers said.

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