To Drink or Not to Drink: Moderation is Good Mantra for Glaucoma



We all have our little vices when it comes to our diet. It could come in the form of caffeinated beverages, sugary desserts, salty snacks, or an occasional drink. These comfort foods and drinks can be challenging to regulate, and we can often find that a rare treat can become a bad habit if we are not careful.

If you have glaucoma, you should be especially careful with what you are putting into your body so that you are not raising the pressure inside your eye, or intraocular pressure (IOP). Because there is no cure for glaucoma, the only way of slowing the progression of the disease is by lowering your IOP. There are many factors that can potentially affect eye pressure, such as:

  • Maintaining normal blood pressure
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking in antioxidants
  • Keeping a healthy body mass index (BMI)
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding caffeine
  • Moderate alcohol use

Many adults enjoy a beer, a glass of wine or a cocktail, but this risk factor requires special attention. Alcohol consumption could affect your eye pressure in two ways. Alcohol has been known to lower IOP initially (Source: Modern Medicine). However, over the long-term, alcohol actually increases IOP. It sounds confusing, doesn't it?

It is important to remember that what you drink and how you drink any liquid is important when it comes to your eye pressure. In fact, drinking two standard bottles of water very quickly can actually raise your eye pressure by one-third, so it is essential to intake liquid slowly to maintain safe eye pressure (Source: Glaucoma NZ).

We need to look no further than the ancient philosopher Aristotle, who encouraged "Moderation in all things." Glaucoma requires special attention and care, but the answer can usually be found in moderation. An occasional glass of wine or a celebratory cocktail will probably not affect your glaucoma, but it is important to have self-control and use good common sense when it comes to diet and lifestyle habits.