Take a Deep Breath & Close Your Eyes: National Stress Awareness Day is November 3

We’ve all heard about how elevated levels of daily stress, such as many are experiencing related to the Covid-19 crisis, can impact physical and mental health. Being in a prolonged and constant feeling of stress can contribute to serious problems such as hypertension, heart disease, decreased immunity, loss of sociability, and decreased mental resilience. But can stress also cause vision issues? Research says, YES.

Stress-related vision problems are most likely linked to a powerful hormone known as cortisol. It’s gradually released by the body as a reaction to stress and is responsible for the associated increase in heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and muscle tension. This happens as the body’s natural “Fight or Flight” response to perceived threat or danger, which triggers the release of adrenaline to speed up the heart rate with cortisol and increase blood flow to muscles and brain. Fight or Flight is normally a temporary response that subsides once the threat has passed. However, prolonged stress can cause spikes in cortisol and adrenaline over time that may result in problems with many bodily systems, including the eyes.

Your blurry vision, eye twitching, headaches, and watery or dry eyes may be caused by stress. Other stress-induced vision issues may include dizziness, eye strain, sensitivity to light, eye floaters, and eye spasms. Wondering why your eyelid keeps twitching? Being under stress and/or being tired can lead to a twitch. This slight eyelid movement does not affect your vision, but it can be annoying if it persists: https://atlanticeye.com/2021/06/twitches-spasms-when-your-eyelid-muscles-do-their-own-thing/

High levels of stress hormones can cause pressure on the eyes that result in blurred vision. Persistent severe stress with continued releases of adrenaline may lead to chronically dilated pupils and light sensitivity. In addition, some experts note that prolonged stress may be related to serious vision disorders such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

Clearly, recognizing stress is more important for our eyes than we may realize, for adults and children, too. This November 3rd, your physicians at Atlantic Eye join you in taking a close look at our daily stressors and finding ways to reduce them. If you think your vision is being affected by stress, we’re here to help at any of our 4 Jersey Shore office locations, so don’t hesitate to call us at (732) 222-7373.