3rd January 2023
2 minute read
Categorised under:
Eye Health

Does alcohol affect cataracts?

The primary cause of cataracts is aging, but lifestyle plays an important part, too. The same steps you would take to age well and stay healthy have an impact on many aspect of your health, but also your eyes, including the risk of developing cataract, too. Avoiding smoking is an obvious one, but he evidence about alcohol is not quite so straightforward.

According to a 2021 study, Alcohol Consumption and Incident Cataract Surgery in Two Large UK Cohorts – Ophthalmology (aaojournal.org) there may be some benefits to drinking wine in small quantities. It is widely accepted that red wine, in particular, contains anti-oxidants which support healthy functioning of cells in the human body.

Does this mean that drinking wine can prevent cataracts?

The investigators made a point of emphasising that the study does not establish a 100% cause-and-effect principle, but rather backs up the idea that there’s a relationship between cataracts and alcohol consumption.

The investigators followed the progress of 490,000 UK volunteers: those who consumed a little wine each week benefited more than those who abstained from alcohol, and even those who drank other types of alcohol. Those who consumed approximately 6.5 glasses of wine per week were found to be less likely to undergo cataract surgery.

So there’s a bit of good news! If you do indulge in a small glass of red wine a couple of evenings a week, it may not be such a bad thing for eyes. If you’re concerned about yourself or someone close to you developing cataracts, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of professionals today.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Thank you for feedback