Excess Coffee Consumption Leads to Hearing Hallucinations

Coffee is the most common revitalizing drink consumed by many people all across the world. Everyone has their own reasons for drinking coffee, some say “it relaxes mind” and some say “a cup of coffee helps them to work better”. Whatever might be the reason, it is a favorite drink of majority of the people.

But recent studies conducted on coffee come as a surprise to most coffee lovers. In contrast to all the positive features it is known to have, researchers have found that excess coffee may lead to hearing hallucinations in an individual. Let us read further to know about this shocking discovery.

Annual coffee consumption

Before going in to the news, let us check the statistics of coffee consumption in India and other countries. According to a Coffee Board survey, 94,000 tonnes of coffee is being consumed every year in India alone. Out of the combined 94,400 tonnes of consumption in India in 2008, 73 per cent was consumed in urban areas and the remaining 27 per cent was in rural areas, mainly in Southern India. According to another recent report, Indian Coffee Board has stated that the domestic coffee consumption in India is increasing by 5-6 percent annually.

Not only in India, coffee is a hot favorite in many major countries. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, or equivalent to 146,000,000,000 (146 Billion) cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. This means on an average a coffee drinker consumes 3.1 cups of coffee per day. This number represents 75% of Caffeine consumption not the coffee. Similarly, Japan ranks number 3 in the world for coffee consumption.

About the research

Now coming back to the recent research, according to the study published by La Trobe University, Melbourne, people with serious coffee habit are prone to hear the things that are not actually there. If a person is exceeding three cups of coffee a day, he may prone to hearing hallucinations.

The study was conducted on a group of 92 volunteers, which included individuals who take coffee in large amounts and few individuals who are not that caffeinated. Then they gave them head phones and told that they were playing some music and asked them to listen. But in reality they didn’t played any music. Interestingly, some of them told that they heard the music, who are nothing but caffeine addicted people. People who consume less coffee reported that they didn’t hear any song. By this the researches concluded that regular intake of five cups coffee a day increases the risk of auditory hallucinations.

Previous researches

Besides this new publication, there are some previous reports which gave support to the above research.

  • According to the survey published in an Obscure general in 2009, people who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were three times more likely than other people to report hearing and seeing things that aren’t there.
  • In 1992, the American Journal of Psychiatry published a report of “olfactory hallucination after intravenous caffeine.”
  • In an University press release, the lead researcher of the Australian study, described hallucination is a “psychosis-like symptom.” He also opined that the health risks which are caused by excess caffeine intake should be addressed.

Therefore, it is now proven that excess intake of coffee, will lead to hallucinations, which is similar to the effects of drug abuse. Initially people suffer from only audio hallucinations due to excess caffeine, but if the habit is prolonged, the damage may become severe and worse and may lead to visual hallucinations too. As they say ‘prevention is better than cure’, restrict your coffee habits.

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