Having too much stress is never a good thing. Right from children to adults, people of all age groups feel stressed at some point in their life. Nowadays, stress has become an everyday episode and this is an undeniable fact. We come across many types of problems and situations that trigger stress. A lot of stress will not only spoil your physical health, but also your mental health. Various diseases are also caused due to high stress levels. Heart disease, diabetes, loss of eyesight, and depression are some of the most common diseases caused due to high stress levels.

Effects of stress on the body

Many diseases are caused due to stress and they range from diabetes to blood pressure. Too much stress can cause very serious health conditions that may at times be critical. Some of the common problems related to stress include

  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Headaches

When a person gets anxious or frightened, the body will react in two ways namely the flight and fight mode. During this scenario, the adrenaline level boosts and causes increase in heart rate and blood pressure. In the flight mode, the person flees from the threat and avoids it completely. The fight mode on the other hand makes the person to find the solution to the problem and handle it. Whatever maybe the case, having high stress will spoil your health in various ways.

How stress affects the eyes?

Studies show that high stress can affect the brain leading to various diseases. The human brain is responsible for various eye functions that range from eye tracking to eye-teaming. When a person is stressed, the adrenaline produced will be high and it will remain elevated. This will in turn cause pressure on the eyes and lead to various disorders. Some of the common vision related diseases caused by stress include

  • Asthenopia
  • Central Serous Retinopathy
  • Dry eyes
  • Blepharospasm

Asthenopia: Also known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, this condition occurs mostly in those who frequently use computers. The condition is characterized by various symptoms that include

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation
  • Headache
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

Stress is one of the contributing factors of this syndrome as the work pressure exerted on the employees makes them work until odd hours. If untreated, the minor eye problems may lead to further complications in the future.

Central Serous Retinopathy: This stress related eye condition affects the central region of the retina. In this type of eye condition, excess fluid gets accumulated under the Macula, which is the central part of the retina. This causes distortion in the sight and also causes blurred vision. If not treated on time, it may lead to permanent vision damage. When a person is frightened or anxious, a large amount of stress hormones (Cortisol) is secreted. Even though this is good at times, excess secretion of this hormone will affect the eyes.

Dry eyes: One of the common eye conditions that affect millions of people around world is dry eyes. Various factors induce dry eyes, of which the major contributor is stress. When a person is stressed, the blood gets thickened. The heart has to work hard to supply blood to all the major organs of the body. During stress, the blood flow to skin, brain and eyes are decreased. This causes migraines and dry eyes. If untreated, the condition may worsen and cause frequent eye irritation.

Blepharospasm: is one of the common conditions caused by high stress. Also known as “Eyelid Twitching”, Blepharospasm is often caused by extreme levels of stress. The eyelids of a person who suffers from this condition will twitch uncontrollably, thereby affecting his/her everyday activities. In some cases, the condition will subside over a period of time. There are also cases where the condition prolongs for a long period of time. In such situations, the person must go in for a treatment.

Tips on How to Manage Stress for Healthy Eyes

Managing stress is mandatory to stay healthy. If you feel that you are often stressed, you need to find ways to relax yourself. Understanding stress and identifying the triggers will help you stay focused and avoid problems. Given below are some of the tips to manage stress.

  1. Avoid using laptops and other electronic devices frequently. Try to cool your eyes by applying cucumber and other cooling agents. It is advisable to avoid using electronic devices a few hours before bedtime.
  2. Swimming and yoga are some of the best activities that can help reduce stress and energize your body. Meditation will help you channel your energy in a positive way. Swimming relaxes your senses and makes you healthy.
  3. Even if you are not sleepy, try to close your eyes for a few minutes if you are working on a computer. Taking frequent breaks will help your eyes relax. Further, it will avoid problems such as swelling and dryness of the eyes, twitching and irritation. It is also advisable to have regular eye checkups to identify underlying problems caused by stress.