How Pandemic Stress Can Harm Your Eyesight

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How Pandemic Stress Can Harm Your Eyesight

Effects range from mild discomfort to vision loss.

Doctors of optometry in Colorado have launched a September awareness initiative on the impact of stress on eyesight and eye health.

“The long-term stress individuals and families are experiencing this year has the potential to impact eye health in a range of ways from mild eye discomfort to vision loss,” says Sheryl Benjamin, Executive Director of the Colorado Optometric Association.

The eyes can experience a range of impact due to stress, from mild discomfort to debilitating vision loss.

Symptoms of Stress Impacting Vision Health:

  • Tunnel vision – Loss of visual acuity in the peripheral vision. The person feels like they can only see in front of themselves.
  • Light sensitivity – An intolerance to light. The person feels like they have to close their eyes when experiencing light and they feel discomfort.
  • Eye twitching – Random spasms around the lid of one or both eyes.
  • Very dry or very wet eyes – Both of these can be cause by stress depending on the body’s response.
  • Blurry vision – This is usually mild when caused by stress.
  • Eye strain – Fatigue of the eyes may be caused by stress, but can also be caused by too much screen time.
  • Vision Loss – The stress hormone cortisol can damage the eye and the brain. Stress is also linked to causing diseases that can lead to vision loss including glaucoma.

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