It’s no secret that certain foods are beneficial for alleviating symptoms of dry eye syndrome, including ones containing omega-3 fatty acids as well as hydrating fluids.
But what may come as a surprise is that caffeinated coffee might not be a problem when it comes to hydrating your eyes, according to some studies.
For patients with dry eye syndrome, lifestyle changes like adding or eliminating foods from their diet can be an important part of managing their condition. At The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry in San Francisco, we treat dry eye syndrome and educate patients on best practices to keep their eyes feeling healthy and fresh.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome (DES) occurs when the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eyes can be caused by gland dysfunction, allergies, environmental irritants, certain medications and health conditions, hormonal fluctuations and excessive time spent on digital devices.
The most common symptoms of DES include red, stinging, itchy, watery eyes, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
Treatment for DES depends on the underlying cause of the condition, and your eye doctor may recommend lifestyle adjustments to promote the production of tears and support your eye health.
The Link Between Coffee and Tear Production
Although caffeinated coffee is a diuretic and promotes water loss, it contains a chemical called xanthine which promotes tear production when applied to the eye topically. Preliminary studies suggest that xanthine also boosts tear production when ingested as well, so people with dry eye syndrome may be able to enjoy their morning brew guilt-free.
Although these are promising outcomes, the studies were done on a small scale, so the results can’t be projected onto the general population.
A large-scale 2022 study published in Review of Optometry found that consuming over 285 mg. of caffeine per day was associated with a lower risk of DES. Additionally, it concluded that consuming decaffeinated coffee was linked to an increased risk of DES.
It’s important to note that you should always consult your general practitioner before making any dietary changes, and that every person reacts differently to foods and beverages.
Dry Eye Treatment in San Francisco
If you suffer from dry eyes, we can help!
At The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry, we’ll get to the root of your condition and create a treatment plan that’s tailor-made for your eyes and lifestyle.
To schedule your dry eye consultation, call The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry in San Francisco today!
Our practice serves patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Mateo, California and surrounding communities.