Preventing illnesses is always more appealing than curing them, especially in the case of an illness like glaucoma that can rob your aging adult of her vision. But one study points to the possibility that hot tea can actually reduce the risk of glaucoma in aging adults.
What Is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes pressure to build up inside the eye itself. As the pressure increases, the optic nerve becomes compressed and damaged. As this happens, your elderly family member may rely more on you and senior care providers to help her do things such as drive and take care of her home.
Often the damage occurs so slowly that people who have glaucoma do not notice that they have a problem until their vision is significantly impacted. Eye drops and surgery can help to control the disease, but these treatments work best with early detection. Once the optic nerve is damaged, vision loss is permanent.
One Study Found a Correlation with Tea Drinkers
Researchers at the University of California looked at data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that compared health and dietary details of people in the United States. To get to the conclusion about glaucoma and hot tea, the researchers looked at the diets of the 5 percent or so who stated they had glaucoma and the diets of people who didn’t. Caffeinated tea drinkers were represented at a higher percentage in the non-glaucoma group.
It’s Probably not the Caffeine
The study specifies “caffeinated tea” when talking about tea drinkers, but it’s likely not the caffeine that makes the big difference. Coffee drinkers and drinkers of non-caffeinated tea were represented more often in the glaucoma group. The researchers speculate that this may have to do with antioxidants in the caffeinated teas that may be more likely to protect the eye and the optic nerve.
Talk to Your Senior’s Doctor
Ultimately, it might be a good idea to talk to your senior’s doctor and her eye doctor about whether this study shows any promise for her. They can help you to determine if there is enough of a case to consider making the switch to caffeinated tea for at least a few beverages a week for your elderly family member.
Remember that everything is better in moderation. Although this research is promising, there’s no need to dramatically increase your senior’s tea intake based on one study alone.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN MATTHEWS, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF CHARLOTTE. (704) 246-5806.