Have you ever wondered if coffee does more than just give you a spike of energy to wake you up in the morning and get you ready for the workday? Since we are avid caffeine drinkers, we decided to investigate whether or not caffeine helps with dry eye syndrome and let you know what research has uncovered. Web MD stated that, “Caffeine can increase tear production and may someday be a treatment for dry eye.” However, we cannot simply prescribe caffeine for individuals that have Dry Eye Syndrome.
Drying out of the tear film can cause Dry Eye Syndrome. This can be due to dry air coming from air conditioning, dry heat outside, or other environmental conditions. Other conditions that may cause dry eyes are age, especially during menopause. Certain medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills can be a result of Dry Eye Syndrome, as well as diseases that affect the ability to produce tears, such as, Sjogren’s syndrome, theumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases.
Dry Eye Syndrome has multiple causes and should not be viewed as just a visual annoyance. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “5% of the U.S. population has dry eye syndrome.” Due to such a high ratio, we wanted to see what temporary supplements can ease dry eye, one of them being caffeine in coffee, tea, and soda. In addition to stimulating tear glands, caffeine can increase saliva, digestive juices, and other bodily secretions.
“Researchers at the University of Tokyo’s School of Medicine have shown for the first time that caffeine intake can significantly increase the eye’s ability to produce tears. The researchers found that the consumption of caffeine helped the participants in producing large amount of tears in the eyes.” This is one step closer to helping with the irritable Dry Eye Syndrome; however, caffeine does not completely treat and eliminate Dry Eye Syndrome.
If you have symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome, make an appointment to see Dr. Lam today! He specializes in Dry Eyes Management. Take the steps needed to say, “No!” to Dry Eye Syndrome for a clear and irritation free tomorrow!