Stress-induced vision problems
In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an almost inevitable part of life. Stress, anxiety and depression are not just confined to affecting mental health; their impact can extend to various facets of our well-being, including something as fundamental as our vision. The link between mental health and vision is a complex one, where the two can both influence and be influenced by each other.
Mental health issues can manifest in physical ways throughout the body, including the eyes. When stress takes its toll on the mind, it can lead to physical changes in the body, affecting blood flow, muscle tension and even the functioning of the eyes.
Stress can lead to reduced tear production, causing dry and irritated eyes. The link between stress and dry eyes is thought to be mediated by the autonomic nervous system, which controls tear production. Increased stress can disrupt the balance of this system, resulting in inadequate tear production and discomfort.
According to Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director – India, Orbis, “Stress-induced muscle tension can lead to changes in the way the eyes focus. This can result in temporary blurry vision and difficulty in maintaining clear sight, particularly during periods of heightened stress.”
Those pesky and prolonged eye twitches that seem to appear out of nowhere can also be linked to stress. Stress triggers nerve impulses that can cause the muscles around the eyes to contract involuntarily, resulting in twitches.Eye twitching for more than 2 weeks should not be ignored.
Less social interaction maybe the cause
While stress can affect vision, the relationship works both ways. Vision problems can also contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression. Vision problems can lead to poor quality of life. Living with eye disorders can exacerbate feelings of frustration and helplessness, contributing to mental distress. Vision problems can also sometimes result in withdrawal from social interactions. The fear of not being able to see things clearly or the embarrassment of wearing glasses can isolate people from their social circles, contributing to feelings of loneliness and depression.
How to manage stress for a healthy vision
Understanding that stress and eye health can be connected is the first step towards managing the impact. One can deal with stressful situations by engaging in techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga. Besides, going for regular eye check-ups is a great way to catch any eye problem at an early stage and start treatment as required. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is important for one’s overall health.
To begin with, this could mean maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and keeping a check on quality sleep. Moreover, limiting one’s screen time and taking regular breaks if one’s work requires prolonged screen usage is a healthy practice to inculcate. It is important to seek professional help if a person is experiencing persistent stress, anxiety, or depression. A holistic approach to health involves addressing both mental and physical aspects.