Are you ready to hear one more good thing about your favorite morning wake-me-up? A new study from Cornell University suggests that drinking as little as one cup of coffee a day may help preserve your eyesight as you get older. According to the study authors, chlorogenic acid (CLA), one of the compounds in brewed coffee, appears to protect the retina from damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage is a major cause of sight loss due to aging, diabetes and glaucoma. In the study, researchers pre-treated the eyes of a group of mice with a solution of chlorogenic acid, then exposed them to nitric acid, which is used to create oxidative stress similar to the stress that happens with aging. The mice whose eyes had been treated with CLA suffered none of the expected eye damage. So, does this mean you should be washing your eyes with lukewarm coffee or drinking it? Well, scientists know that our bodies do absorb and make use of CLA in the coffee we drink. What we don't know yet is whether the acid crosses the blood-retinal barrier, a thin membrane that serves as a sort of "filter" for blood and nutrients flowing into the retina through the tiny capillaries. If CLA crosses the BRB, then there's a good chance that drinking coffee really does help protect your eyes from age-related damage. It will be a matter of determining how much coffee you have to drink to actually see - no pun intended - the benefits. If it turns out that CLA doesn't cross the BRB, this new research suggests new avenues of treatment to protect eyes from age-related, perhaps with eyedrops using chlorogenic acid extracted from green coffee beans.