07 Dec Stress & Your Vision: What Recent Research Shows
Stress has a powerful effect on the body – even to your eyes. When chronic stress takes root of your daily life, don’t be surprised if certain vision problems start to show up. In another lens, research has also shown that vision loss leads to more stress.
Research has found that stress can lead to symptoms of vision loss, blurry vision, eye twitching, headaches, watery or dry eyes, eye strain, sensitivity to light, and more vision issues. Just the same, vision loss can exacerbate the stress in your daily life, leading to a vicious cycle that can be difficult to get out of.
Let’s explore to understand the link between stress and vision, and how to best respond for optimal eye health.
How do our bodies respond to stress?
When we are chronically stressed, our body responds physically by releasing the stress hormone, cortisol, and in more acute, immediate cases of stress, our bodies release adrenaline. Research shows that an excess release of these hormones can lead to serious vision problems down the line.
Reducing mental stress levels are essential to preserving your vision and preventing higher stress levels in the long-run. Recent studies have shown that proper eye care in conjunction with reduced daily stress leads to less eye problems over time. One of the main focuses of preserving vision is to keep stress as low as possible, and vice versa.
What are the effects of stress on vision?
When stress acts as the cause of vision problems, it can lead to a variety of issues that can affect either eye, or both eyes, and can be chronic, or more occasional:
- Blurry vision
- Flashes of light
- Narrowed vision or tunnel vision
- Double vision
- Seeing halos or shadows
- Visual distortions
- Eye strain
- Sore eye muscles
How can stress-induced vision loss lead to more stress?
If you end up experiencing vision loss or other vision problems due to stress, you are at higher risk of experiencing more stress. The latest studies have shown that stress can lead to a variety of mental health issues, including but not limited to:
- Social isolation
These all lead to stress responses that might worsen your eye health or vision problems over time.
Getting the right treatment for stress and vision loss:
Recent studies point to psychosomatic relaxation techniques as the best mechanism for treating stress-related vision loss. These strategies help avoid active stress responses, keeping your body free of stress hormones and full of relaxation.
These strategies include the following:
- Social support
- Self-help relaxation commands (autogenic training)
For the best preventive measures, you should always aim to reduce your stress as much as possible, even for your overall health. Incorporating the above techniques into your vision loss treatment plan may help to prevent vision loss in addition to helping anyone who may be currently experiencing vision loss reduce its progression.
Beyond these strategies, make sure to stick to the same healthy routine that leaves you feeling your best every day, and that includes eye care!