Many of us could not seem to start the day without getting out caffeine fix, mostly in the form of coffee. And while it can give you that boost of energy to start you day, a study in La Trobe University in Australia found out that drinking at least 5 cups of coffee in a day can cause hallucinations and worsen eye problems.
The research hoped to look into the relationship of caffeine and stress on auditory hallucination instances. Their participants were individuals who are under stress and are currently under high caffeine levels. They were made to listen to white noise and then asked to point out if they heard the song “White Christmas” sung by Bill Crosby. Those subjects who were under the highest levels of caffeine and stress indicated that they heard the song although it was never played in the first place.
Caffeine can also be harmful to people with glaucoma. It can increase the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye which is the very problem with people who suffer from such an eye condition. When this happens, the optic nerve is squeezed and deprived from blood supply, leading to damage to the nerve cells and ultimately cause blindness.
This study was made up with 28 people suffering from glaucoma who were given 200 ml of regular coffee. On another occasion, the participants where given decaffeinated coffee. After some tests, an elevated IOP was noted in that instance when they drank regular coffee.
Aside from hallucinations and worsened eye problems, caffeine has also been linked to so many more negative health benefits. Let us take a look at some of them.
- Gastrointestinal Distress
Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause your stomach and intestines to cramp up. Sometimes, it can even expel waste. It can also increase the excretion of stomach acid which can further cause discomforts. Caffeine has also been associated with nausea and vomiting, especially when it is consumed in very high amounts.
This is one of the most common effects of too much caffeine. It stimulates your nervous system so even when you are trying to sleep, you will most likely stay wide awake. If this continues, your sleep and wake pattern will ultimately be altered and lead to sleep deprivation. The response of your body to be drowsy in order to relax will greatly be affected.
Caffeine can be especially dangerous to those who have panic attacks or anxiety disorders as it can worsen the symptoms. Symptoms include nausea, sweating, numbness, hot flashes, chest pain, sweating, and shortness of breath.
- Irregular Heart Rate
The normal heart rate of a person is anywhere between 60 to 100 beats in a minutes. If it goes beyond 100 a minutes, this is considered tachycardia and can cause palpitations. And because caffeine is a stimulant, it can increase your heart rate.
Consuming small amounts of caffeine once in a while can help with your headaches, especially to those who suffer from migraine. However, consuming too much of it can put you at risk in the development of daily headaches.
- Pregnancy Problems
When caffeine is consumed in excessive amounts during pregnancy, it can lead to a variety of birth defects like low birth weight and pre-term labor. It also places them at a higher risk for miscarriages.