The British secret to protecting your eyesight

Q: What suggestions do you have for glaucoma?

GR: As I've shared in the past, glaucoma happens when fluid builds up in your eyes.

That creates pressure inside your eyeball that damages your optic nerve... and that can rob you of your precious sight.

And once vision loss sets in, it can't be reversed.

But according to a new study, there's a natural way to stop your glaucoma from progressing... or maybe even prevent it altogether.

And if it's still cold where you are, like it is here in the Northeast, you're going to love warming up with this.

I'm talking about a cup of steaming hot tea!

In the study, out of UCLA, researchers examined the vision of 1,700 adults and asked them how often they drank coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

It turned out that those who drank hot caffeinated tea at least six times a week slashed their risk of glaucoma by a whopping 74 percent, compared to non-drinkers!

And that was AFTER the researchers controlled for other factors that affect glaucoma risk, such as age, weight, diabetes, and smoking.

Curiously, iced tea didn't reduce glaucoma risk, and neither did decaf tea.

And coffee -- regular or "unleaded," hot or iced -- had no impact, either. Soft drinks? Nope.

Now, it's possible that daily hot tea drinkers are more likely than non-drinkers to follow other healthy lifestyle habits -- like, say, exercising more or eating a healthier diet -- that account for the reduced glaucoma risk.

After all, I myself am a tea-drinker.

But I'm betting that the tea itself has benefits for your eyeballs.

Glaucoma often occurs when your eyes aren't getting enough blood flow. And as eTips readers know, foods that are rich in nitrate (which your body converts to nitric oxide) -- such as spinach, beets, and carrots -- can relax your arteries... improve blood flow... and make it less likely you'll develop glaucoma.

And previous studies have shown that natural compounds in both black and green teas can stimulate nitric oxide production!

They're are also loaded with antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation -- and we know that inflammation plays a big role in ramping up the intraocular pressure that causes vision loss.

It could be that with decaf and iced tea, these compounds are too processed or "watered down" to have enough of an effect.

Resolution season may have passed, but it's never too late to start up on a new one, so make like the British and sip a "cuppa" every day.

As an added bonus, you'll also slash your risk of cancer... ward off diabetes and dementia... and even protect your bones.

Sipping on something else? Send me a question at askdrrothfeld@nutritionandhealing.com, and I may choose to answer yours next.