Does Stress Cause Eyesight Complications?

Little girl getting her eyes examined

A lot of people would say that the eyes are the window to the soul. But your eyes are also a window to your health. Usually, the first thing that we look at are the eyes, and we can tell from that moment if that individual is angry, happy, and even stressed out. But our eyes are not just indicators of emotions, but also of how tired we can be. While working can help us put food in the table, we have to be mindful of how it can also affect our bodies. Our eyesight can also be affected if we’re not too careful.

For most individuals who are working a white-collar job, office work can put a lot of strain on the eyes, even when they use smart glasses. For the majority of office workers, 58% of adults in the United States experience eye strain and vision problems. Most of the time, this tends to happen to workers that are doing 8-hours of straight work every day.

Does Stress Affect Eyesight?

But how does stress cause complications to our eyesight? We’re here to give you much-needed information that can help you determine whether you need professional attention or not.

Typically, our bodies respond to anxiety, fear, and stress through a variety of different changes. These changes could range from an adrenaline rush or by the body redirecting blood towards your more vital organs. That is an evolutionary response for us to become prepared for any type of physical danger by mitigating damages into the primary organs of our body.

Stress will usually give us the same response when our body is being subjected to these responses. While this might be helpful if we are in a situation that presents a clear and present danger to our health, this does not necessarily translate well to an office environment. Our eyes usually dilate when we are subjected to a high-stress event, which can cause strain. The purpose of your eyes’ dilation is that you can concentrate on what’s in front of you, hence the tunnelling vision whenever you see a threat.

However, this constant dilation of your eyes can make it sensitive to a lot of external factors. In some cases, the muscles of your eyes can become so tight that they eventually twitch and impede the production of tears.

Seeking Medical Attention

Female having her eyes examined

For the most part, we’re quite confident that we don’t need to visit a doctor or an optometrist until we start seeing apparent symptoms. There are even times that we choose to ignore these symptoms until they can permanent damage to our eyes. As such, it’s always a good practice to keep an eye out for signs.

Here are some known symptoms of eye complications caused by stress:

  • Tunnelling Vision – Our vision contains an unfocused area which the peripheral vision, and the focused area, which is at the centre of our sight. When we have tunnel vision, we are unable to see the appropriate amount of our peripheral vision.
  • Light Sensitivity – This is one of the most common symptoms when your eyes are having a difficult time adjusting from brighter areas to darker areas. They become bothered with sudden changes in light intensity.
  • Eye spasms – In some cases, too much stress can lead to the muscles of your eyes twitching.
  • Blurry Vision – This, coupled with tunnelling vision, is one the most visible signs of eye strain. It can range from mild vision changes to severe impediments in your sight. Not only can this impair what you can see, but it can increase the likelihood of accidents from happening.
  • Seeing Stars – Usually, this happens whenever you rub your eyes and starting seeing tiny stars floating at the edge of your vision.
  • Eyestrain – This is one of the most common symptoms that office workers get. Merely looking at computer screens for long hours can cause eye strain. Usually, your eyes will feel heavy. It’s recommended that you take five to ten minutes of rest for every hour of work that you do in front of a computer screen.
  • Dry eyes – This can happen for a variety of reasons. In some cases, people who have to stare at documents or computer screens will get dry eyes or watery eyes if they’re too stressed. When driving a motorcycle without any eye protection, your eyes will dry out quickly. Although this isn’t a giveaway to eye complications, it still has to be taken into consideration.

If you do see and feel any of these symptoms, then it’s highly recommended that you see a physician that specialises in eye health. Having the right glasses will help you become less stressed out about your work while also mitigating eye problems.

It’s also important to note that even if you don’t have most of these symptoms, it’s still recommended that you go to your optometrist for a regular check-up.

Several clinical and medical reports have pointed out that stress does cause problems for eyesight. Whether you’re buying glasses, undergoing an eye operation, or getting a check-up, there’s no hurt in seeing an optometrist. Likewise, one of the best ways to mitigate damage to your eyes is by kicking back and resting.

Ultimately, eyesight problems could be an underlying symptom to even more severe illnesses. While it’s a good idea to get an eye examination from a certified professional, it’s also essential to get an extensive check-up on your overall health.

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