Did you know that stress and anxiety could have a significant impact on your eye health? Research shows that persistent stress might even lead to vision loss. If you leave a busy life, reducing your stress levels will prevent this from happening. Here's how stress and anxiety influence your vision, and what you can do about it.


How Do Stress And Anxiety Impact Vision Loss?

woman pinching bridge of nose at computer One study suggests that long-term stress results in vision loss. This is because stress increases the hormone cortisol in the body, which impacts the sympathetic and vascular nervous systems. As a result, stress increases the likelihood of eye-related conditions like optic neuropathy and glaucoma, which can lead to a loss of vision. Someone might then have trouble reading, recognizing faces, or completing day-to-day tasks.

"Although stress is a known risk factor, its causal role in the development or progression of certain visual system disorders is not widely appreciated," says the researchers who carried out the study.

Adrenaline is another factor that can contribute to vision problems. Stress and anxiety can increase adrenaline levels in your body, which puts pressure on the eyes and even results in blurred vision. "Tunnel vision is another feature of excessive adrenaline," says Health Central. "This tends to occur at times high arousal or during a panic event."

What Exactly Happens To Your Vision?

Woman rubs eye Stress and anxiety can affect your eyes in various ways:

You might see shadows, flashing lights, blurs, fogginess, or experience other visual irregularities like tunnel vision.
You might experience vision problems in just one eye or both eyes.
You might experience a sudden change in your vision or notice a gradual loss of vision over time.
Your eyes might twitch or spasm.

Many people experience these symptoms without ever seeing an optician. However, not addressing the issue could result in severe vision loss. This is why it's important to see an expert.

What Causes Stress-Related Vision Loss?

There are a number of causes of stress-related vision problems. Traumatic experiences, problems at work or school, side effects from medication, financial issues -- all of these factors can increase your stress and anxiety levels and impact your vision.And it's not just your vision. Stress and anxiety can have an effect on other parts of your body, too.

Here are some of the effects of stress on eyes:

Headaches and migraines (also related to vision problems).
Low energy levels.
Insomnia.
Chest pain.
Lack of motivation or ambition.

"Stress is everywhere. And while a little stress is OK -- some stress is actually beneficial -- too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically," says WebMD.

Woman pinches bridge of nose shadow Here are some of the effects of anxiety on eyes:

Panic disorders.
Stressful situations at work or at school.
Medication side effects.
Use of illicit drugs and alcohol

It is important to know what triggers your stress and anxiety. Avoiding certain situations or engaging with people that make you feel stressed can improve your overall health and well-being.

How Can You Reduce Eye-Related Stress And Anxiety?

There are a number of techniques that you can try in order to reduce the effect of stress on vision. Not all of these methods will work for everyone, though:

Take a warm, relaxing bath.
Practice breathing exercises.
Meet with friends and family.
Laugh more.

Research shows that increasing your exercise levels can improve stress and anxiety. This is because exercise releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which make you feel good and improve well-being. One study suggests that 14 percent of people exercise in order to reduce stress.

Other lifestyle choices can also reduce stress and anxiety levels in the body. Eating healthier foods, for example, and limiting the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis can reduce cortisol levels. As a result, you might feel less stressed and anxious.

Man rubs eye at computer In more extreme circumstances, you might want to seek out professional help for your stress and anxiety. Talking to someone about the reasons you feel stressed and finding the root cause of the problem could provide you with long-term results when it comes to stress and the effect of anxiety on vision.

Don't put any additional stress on your eyes, either. Straining your eyes when you read or squinting can cause discomfort. These might be signs that you need to wear glasses or contact lenses, so visit a reputable optical department and speak to a professional about your options.

Research shows that stress and anxiety can have a profound impact on your eye health. When cortisol levels rise in your body, you are more likely to develop eye-related conditions such as glaucoma, which can result in a loss of vision. There are a number of things in life that cause stress and anxiety, but managing stressful situations will improve your eye health.