That cup of java may pack more punch than you think. Besides acting as a pick-me-up, a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that it may help in warding off optic disorders such as retinal degeneration.
Coffee contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (or CLA), which works to inhibit the production of free radicals that damage tissue and lead to vision loss. In the study, mice were exposed to nitric oxide which generated oxidative stress and in turn, free radicals which lead to retinal degeneration. The mice in the study that were pre-treated with chlorogenic acid showed no signs of degenerative damage.
More studies are necessary to determine CLA's effectiveness in humans, but work is underway to develop a coffee specifically aimed at retinal health, as well as production of an eye drop for direct application.