Spicy Foods - West Side Eye ClinicSpicy foods negatively affect a poorly operating digestive system and can unblock congested sinus passageways, but the question is: can spicy food affect our eyesight? Nothing has been scientifically verified to prove a connection between eating spicy food and a negative affect on your eyesight. However, when preparing meals with hot peppers involved, wash your hands well before touching your face, especially around the sensitive eye area. The eyes will redden and tear, with the possibility of swelling. This can be quite painful, and your vision can temporarily blur. Many people experience tearing of the eyes and runny noses when consuming extra spicy hot food. This is a common occurrence, and does not signify health issues. As Louisianians can attest to, a certain degree of desensitization occurs over time to consuming spicy foods. Some people even break a sweat when they consume an extremely spicy meal.

Why do we use spicy hot peppers in our food?

Is it beneficial in any way to consume spicy foods? According to Chef Bill Phillips, a spicy food expert and Associate Professor at the Culinary Institute of America, explains that “fiery food tastes hot because chemical molecules, such as capsaicin, excite pain receptors on your tongue that are linked to the sensation of temperature, not because it’s burning off your tastebuds. It’s more of a sensation of heat than something physical. Interestingly, spearmint actually hits on the same receptor, creating a sense of cold.” When spicy foods are consumed by those with a higher tolerance for the heat, feel- good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin are released in the pleasure center of the brain. Capsaicin and other spicy food molecules diminish substance P, a neurotransmitter that sends pain signals to the brain, during the desensitization process. There are numerous other health benefits to be had by consuming spicy foods… if you can handle the heat.

WestSide Eye Clinic

West Side Eye Clinic is there to assist you with any problems you have encountered with your vision. To make an appointment at West Side Eye Clinic, you can reach us at (504) 347-8434. For more information, you can submit a request at We are located at 4601 Wichers Drive in Marrero and are at your service Monday through Wednesday from 9am – 5pm; Thursday and Friday from 9am – 4pm; and by appointment only on Saturday. Your complete eye health is our top priority!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.