Compared to people who don’t drink wine or drink another type of alcohol, moderate wine drinkers — three or four glasses a week —were 14%-23% less likely to require cataract surgery, the study found.
Moderate drinkers of white wine or champagne had a 10% lower risk, and moderate drinkers of beer and spirits had a 13% and 14% lower risk, respectively, when compared with people who don’t drink.
But, the study found, there can be too much of a good thing. Participants who consumed a glass or more of alcohol each day were 6% more likely to need the surgery than those who stuck with three or four glasses.
“Cataract development may be due to gradual damage from oxidative stress during aging,” Chua said in a press release, so the antioxidants in wine might help counter that.
“I think that this is an important study, however further studies are necessary to see if the findings will be repeated,” Dr. Matthew Gorski, an ophthalmologist at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y., told medicinenet.com. “At this time, I will certainly not be telling my patients to drink small amounts of alcohol in order to decrease the chance of cataract surgery.” He was not involved in the study.
The study was published March 31 in the journal Ophthalmology.