The Effects of Stress on Your Eyes

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Stress can affect the body in many ways: muscle aches, upset stomach, and headaches. But people often don’t think about the effects that stress can have on the eyes. Whether you wear glasses or don’t have any eye care concerns, this subject is essential to understand. In the field of optometry, there are several ways that your eyes could be under more pressure to function than you think.

If you have ever experienced blurry vision or twitchy eyes, then you have felt the effects of stress on your vision. People can often experience either excessively dry or watery eyes and a result of extra pressure in their lives. Floaters are also another common symptom. For each person, it’s different, but the effects can be long-lasting if people are not careful with how often they feel stress.  Some people even report needing to buy glasses because of vision loss due to stress.  

When stressed, your pupils can dilate to help allow more light in so that you’re able to see more threats. This happens whether or not you wear glasses.  Your body senses that there are threats and works to ensure that you can handle them. Yet, this has consequences. The long-term implications for allowing more light into your eyes and stressing your eyes to their limit can lead to vision loss.

In the short term, people will notice that they have an increased sensitivity to light. This is expected, and anyone in the field of optometry would likely agree. With more light allowed into the eye and your adrenaline running high, your eyes will feel tenser, creating this sensitivity when hyperactive. The only way to eliminate this from happening is to find a way to mitigate the stress you feel. Otherwise, it will continue to show up in symptoms that will contribute to worse issues for your future health.  

To combat stress, multiple methods help people to overcome these uncomfortable symptoms and eventually eliminate them. While it might sound cliché, the best thing to do would be to comfort your body. This will signal to your muscles, nerves, and your eyes, that there’s no need for the high intensity. Once the body is not stressed anymore, your eyes will receive the rest and repair they need to heal. Here are a few ways to help combat the stress you might feel:

  • Take a long bath
  • Meditate
  • Take deep breaths to calm your anxiety and nerves
  • Journal
  • Exercise

Stress is no fun to deal with, but helping manage it can save your eyesight and help make eye care easier for you in the future. If you’re able to defrag and calm your nerves, you’ll stop feeling the nerve cramps, the headaches, the blurred vision, and the potential dizziness. It will all lessen if you find a way to calm your body.  You should also talk to your optometrist if you have noticed a change in your vision.  The field of optometry has studied stress’s effects on the eyes for years and can help repair the damage done to your vision.  In the long term, taking care of your stress will help with your overall health and eye care. 

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Duff, Beth. “How Stress Can Affect Your Vision.” All About Vision, 20 Jan. 2021,

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