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Stress and it’s Impact on Eye Health

Eye drops, Relaxing Eye Drops, Eye Care Tips, Eye Care, Stress Management, Stress Relief, Stress
Image Courtesy: Nbc News

Get rid of pressure for ultimate pleasure. ~ Lifezen Healthcare

In the past decade, stress has been the most searched health symptom on Google. Stress has become an integral part of every person's life. It’s there in everyone’s life, whether you are a student, working, a job seeker, a working professional, an entrepreneur, in relationships, in family—wherever you are, stress is next to you. But stress is not harmful until it affects your mind. Stress can be a catalyst to push you toward something better. Stress can be good or bad. Good stress always helps you progress, whereas bad stress or unmanaged stress can harm your health and life.

Stress affects the human body in many ways, including eye health. It can even lead to vision impairment. Your one eye or both can be affected intermittently or constantly. Ways to prevent bad stress or manage stress include meditation, pranayama, or deep-breathing exercises, healthy eating, sound sleep, recreational activities, and exercise without fail.

Stress can be of any type, like anxiety, social isolation, depression, fear, and worry. Various studies have stated that certain types of stress can lead to vision problems. It can be anxiety, general stress, chronic stress, emotional exhaustion, depression, and conversion disorder.

Bad stress over a long period of time causes cortisol levels to rise, which negatively affects the brain and eyes.

Stress and Vision

Stress is the cause of many health complications. It has consequences for your eyes too. Some of the tell-a-tale signs are dry eyes, eye strain, blurred vision, eye twitching, and double vision.

Excessive stress of any kind upsets your body’s natural equilibrium. Stress can be physical, emotional, mental, visual, or a combination of them all. Generally, mental stress and visual stress affect eye health. Increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline can put additional stress on the eyes.

Stress Hormones and Vision Problems

Your body is naturally adapted to handle stressful situations and return to the balance called homeostasis. Consistent stressors can cause major health issues, such as vision problems.

Let’s discuss the scientific links between stress and vision problems that have an impact on overall health problems.

Stress Hormone ‘Cortisol’

Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, is the first step to stress-related vision problems. This hormone is gradually released by the body as a reaction to anxiety, fear, and stress. Cortisol is responsible for the increase in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and muscle tension.

In the case of eye health, anxiety results in an increase in cortisol levels, which disrupts blood flow from the eye to the brain, likely causing vision problems.

Fight or Flight Hormone ‘Adrenaline’

Stress can cause our bodies to release adrenaline. This hormone, in conjunction with cortisol, speeds up your heart rate, redirects blood from the non-essential reproductive and digestive systems, and moves it to the extremities and internal organs that are crucial to survival and put them at risk.

Adrenaline has the ability to cause the pupils to dilate to allow in more light and make it easier to detect potential threats. Constant, severe stress, along with the release of adrenaline, causes constant pupil dilation and eventual sensitivity to light. This can result in eye muscle tightening and twitching, causing eye discomfort and stress-related vision problems.

This increase in cortisol leads to imbalances in the sympathetic nervous system, which can increase eye pressure and cause glaucoma. Indeed, researchers believe that glaucoma patients are more likely to suffer from depression as a result of their vision condition.

Common Stress-Related Eye Problems

The majority of stress-related vision problems are temporary and often go away on their own once the issue is addressed properly. However, if you have an existing and consistent issue with your eyes, you need a doctor’s advice.

Stress does affect our eyes in many ways. In addition to causing pupil dilation, high stress can also result in high pressure in the eyes called glaucoma and a range of stress-related vision problems like dry eyes, headaches, and red eyes.

Periods of extreme stress show some of these common problems:

  • Light sensitivity. Bright light hurts your eyes. It becomes challenging to see in bright lights.

  • Eye twitching. Very often, one or both of your eyes will randomly spasm.

  • Extremely dry or wet eyes. You have a dry eye and a wet feeling in your eyes.

  • Blurred vision. Mild blurred vision can be experienced often or at intervals.

  • Eye strain. Prolonged use of a digital screen, constant focusing, and stress cause eye strain or eye fatigue.

  • Double vision. Double vision is seeing two images of one object

  • Visual distortions. Halos or wavy lines are examples of symptoms of visual distortion.

  • Dimmed vision. It’s a low vision difficulty.

These symptoms are typically not dangerous but definitely affect daily life. If these problems last for a long time, you must consult an ophthalmologist for advice.

Treatment to Stress-Related Vision Problems

The best way to deal with and treat stress is through a psychosomatic approach. Using relaxation and stress reduction techniques in addition to traditional treatment options can help manage stress of any kind. These techniques include:

  • Yoga or Exercise

  • Eye vitamins and minerals

  • Healthy diet

  • Sound and enough sleep

  • Meditation

  • Stress management techniques

  • Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)

  • Use of over-the-counter eye relaxing eye drops

  • Recreational activities

Lack of sufficient oxygen in the retina may cause potential cell damage; hence, breathing exercise is extremely beneficial for brain cells and overall well-being.

The practice of these techniques can be hugely beneficial for eye health and overall well-being. In general, the practices should be helpful in reducing stress by reducing your exposure to stress.

Stress is inevitable. As a result, learning how to reduce the effects of stress on our body, mind, and eyes is of concern. In fact, these steps are simple and cost nothing. Addressing and treating eye problems early can help maintain and restore good vision.


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