Morning Coffee Prevents Dry Eye Syndrome

Not only does morning cup of coffee awakens us and brightens our start of the day, it protects against dry eye syndrome, according Japanese researchers…

Dry eye syndrome (Xerophthalmia) is a condition of insufficient secretion of tears, which lubricate, feed and maintain eye health, and thus enable vision. People with this syndrome do not produce enough tears, or their tears are of poor quality, and it often affects those older than 50. The result is red, dry and irritated eyes, often prone to inflammation. Serious case of xerophthalmia can damage the surface of the eye and thus vision. The most common solution for dry eyes are the so-called artificial tears, but experts have found that caffeine from most available source – coffee – may be protective against the development of this syndrome. Japanese researchers studied the effects of caffeine on the tear volume. Specifically, they wanted to know whether people with certain gene variations are likely to create larger or smaller volume of tears after the “exposure to caffeine.


Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, divided respondents into two groups: one group was drinking caffeine pill during the first test and placebo during the second test. Subjects from the second group drank the same tablets, only in reverse. None of them did not drink beverages with caffeine six days before the study and did not suffer from dry eye syndrome and glaucoma. After a total 45 minutes after taking the tablets, the volume of tears in the respondents was measured.

The observed result was a statistically significant increase in tear volume in patients who drank caffeine pill in parallel with the placebo group, and genetic variations in the metabolism of caffeine have also influenced the formation of tears, but it is believed that the clinical significance of this discovery is limited.

“If these facts are confirmed in other studies, our findings on caffeine could be useful in treating dry eye syndrome, but selective consumption is currently advised to people who are most sensitive to the stimulating effect of caffeine,” advised Dr. Reiko Arita, head of research published in the journal Ophthalmology .

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