What is glaucoma?Glaucoma is a condition causing damage to the optic nerve in your eye. The damage increases as time continues. Left untreated, it leads to complete permanent blindness. It is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Fifty percent of people with glaucoma have no idea that they have it. In 2013, there was an estimated 64.3 million people between 40-80 with glaucoma. In 2040, this number will almost double to 111.8 million.
Q. Can a cup of tea help prevent glaucoma?Scientists analyzed the survey data of 10,000 people, collected from physical examinations, interviews, blood samples, and other tools. They found that people who drank hot tea everyday had a 74% lower chance of getting glaucoma than those who didn’t. The survey did not go in depth as to the type and quantity of tea that was consumed daily. Hot tea has a multitude of health benefits:
“Tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids [types of active chemical compounds found in plants], which have been observed to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.”The study therefore suggests hot tea might work to prevent this eye condition due to:
- Having a protective metabolic effect
- Protecting cells from aging and damage, which are proposed (in previous independent studies) as leading to glaucoma
A. It’s possible.It certainly can’t hurt to have a hot cup everyday, due to tea’s many medicinal benefits. Get those tea leaves brewing!
Q. Can your daily walk help prevent glaucoma?Recent studies have shown that lifestyle choices have an effect on eye pressure, which in turn affects the risk of glaucoma. Scientists analyzed the walking speed and number of steps per minute performed by survey participants. They noted that at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (what we non-scientists call exercise) for 5 days a week is equal to walking 7,000 steps everyday for a week.
“Our research suggests that it is not only the act of exercising that may be associated with decreased glaucoma risk, but that people who exercise with higher speed and more steps of walking or running may even further decrease their glaucoma risk compared to people who exercise at lower speeds with less steps.”The correlation they found between exercise and glaucoma risk was:
- Every 10-unit increase in walking speed and steps per minute reduced the chances by 6%.
- Every 10-minute increase in exercise time for the week reduced the chances by 25%.
A. It’s possible.More vigorous or longer exercise seems to lower the risk even further. And hey, exercising regularly also has a lot of proven benefits for the rest of your body. Time to take a nice walk outside!
To read more about the link between hot tea and glaucoma, click here. To read more about the link between exercise and glaucoma, click here.