By Andrew Hickey on Nov 1, 2022 @ 12:53 PM
We love coffee. Although consuming too much caffeine can lead to issues for your vision health. So, we will look at the link between caffeine consumption and vision so you can better manage your health.
- High caffeine consumption affects vision health through blurred vision, eye spasms, and tingling eyes
- Caffeine addiction can lead to breathing trouble, heart palpitations, anxiety and more
- You can get through your day without caffeine – try having a consistent bedtime routine, exercise first thing, or have a complete breakfast
Coffee is one of the highest-consumed beverages by adults in the U.S. We certainly contribute to that. As such, we are all putting our vision and overall health at risk in some way. Those with caffeine addiction can have direct and adverse effects on your vision in the short term, and over time, can lead to more serious vision problems and diseases. But how much is too much?
Short-term effects of too much caffeine
The average adult should consume no more than 300-400 milligrams of caffeine a day, which equates to about three to four cups of coffee. Any more can have significant impacts on your vision health. Caffeine increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar. It can also lead to the following ocular issues:
- Blurred vision
- Eye spasms (myokymia)
- Burning eyes
- Tingling eyes
Long-term effects of too much caffeine
While these symptoms may not seem so severe, the long-term effects of excess caffeine consumption can be quite serious. Coffee and caffeine consumers who do not actively limit their consumption put their blood pressure levels at risk of getting too high. They can ultimately face the following vision complications over time:
- Damaged retina
- Bleeding in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Vision loss
- Fluid buildup under the retina (choroidopathy)
- Nerve damage in the eye (optic neuropathy)
Understanding the short and long-term impacts of excess caffeine consumption on your vision health can help motivate coffee drinkers to look out for signs of caffeine addiction. Then, they can take the necessary steps to limit their intake.
Symptoms of caffeine addiction
Did you know caffeine is classified as a drug? It stimulates the central nervous system and has addictive properties that lead to physical dependence in users, making it an addictive substance. Like with any addictive substance, your body reacts in several ways, whether you consume too much or try to stop cold turkey. It is possible for you to overdose on caffeine. Aside from affecting your vision health, other risks of over-consumption of coffee or caffeine overdose include:
- Breathing trouble
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Increased thirst/urination
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Paresthesia (tingling, pins and needles feeling)
- Profuse perspiration
- Rhabdomyolysis (kidney-injuring syndrome)
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Tremors or shakiness
Caffeine overdose can be fatal. That is why it is important to stick to your recommended daily consumption of caffeine or coffee while looking for other ways to give yourself a healthy boost of energy to continue through your day.
Tips to get through your day without caffeine
For many of us, the day has not officially start before coffee. But knowing the effects it has on your health may lead you to search for alternative ways to get yourself up and going in the morning. Here are eight alternatives to kickstart your morning without coffee:
- Wake up and go to bed at the same time every night
- Have a morning routine or ritual
- Get outside first thing in the morning
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up
- Take a cold shower
- Have a stimulating conversation
- Exercise first thing in the morning
- Enjoy a complete breakfast with plenty of protein, fiber, carbs, and healthy fats
Other beverages to boost your day
Testing out different morning habits can have a strong impact on your energy production for the day. At the same time, you can still treat yourself to a delicious morning beverage. Whether you are in the break room, dropping your kids off at school, or catching up on the morning news, here are 10 beverages to enjoy in place of coffee and why they may be better for you:
- Hot cacao: It is rich in theobromine which is a milder stimulant than caffeine and is non-addicting.
- Black tea: It has half the caffeine of coffee with naturally occurring L-theanine; an amino acid known to reduce stress and anxiety (also found in green and black tea and some mushrooms) It can also lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and some types of cancers.
- Green tea: It has half the caffeine of coffee with added mental acuity and metabolic benefits.
- Chicory coffee: It is naturally caffeine-free with a remarkably similar taste to traditional coffee.
- Yerba mate tea: This herbal tea has moderate caffeine content and has been shown to improve mental focus and energy levels.
- Kombucha: It is a fizzy probiotic drink with L-theanine, low caffeine levels, and immense digestive benefits.
- Golden milk: It is caffeine free, with strong anti-inflammatory properties and a strong, soothing taste to awaken your senses in the morning.
- Nut and seed milks: They are caffeine-free and help to balance blood sugar levels to give you sustained energy throughout the day. These include almond milk and oat milk.
- Apple cider vinegar: It helps reduce blood sugar level fluctuations and aids in digestion.
- Lemon water: It has a caffeine-free energy boost provided by vitamin C to keep you and your immune system going strong.
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies: Start your day off on a healthy note with a smoothie. This allows you to get your fruits and vegetables in early.
Limiting your coffee consumption may seem difficult at first, but by adopting a few replacement habits and enjoying your coffee in moderation, you can significantly improve your risk of vision health issues.