A new analysis of clinical reports and existing research suggests that “stress is both consequence and cause of vision loss.” The findings indicate that clinicians should refrain from adding any unnecessary stress to their patients, and that reducing stress may help to restore vision.

Prolonged stress may lead to a range of eye health issues, as well as worsening existing ones, suggests a new study.

When a person loses their eyesight, they may experience a high level of mental stress in the form of worries and anxiety about the situation.

Sometimes, in more severe circumstances, depression and social isolation may ensue.

But does the reverse also occur? Can stress actually lead to a loss of vision? A new study, published in the EPMA Journal — the official publication of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized Medicine — suggests that it can.

The new research was led by Prof. Bernhard Sabel, director of the Institute of Medical Psychology at Magdeburg University in Germany.

In their paper, Prof. Sabel and colleagues explain that persistent stress, which raises levels of the hormone cortisol, can negatively affect our vascular and sympathetic nervous systems.

This, in turn, affects our brain and eyes, which may lead to conditions such as glaucoma and optic neuropathy — ultimately resulting in complete vision loss.

Stress causes and worsens eye conditions

After analyzing hundreds of studies and clinical trials, Prof. Sabel and his colleagues conclude that stress is not only a consequence of vision loss, but that it may also aggravate eye conditions.

As he explains, “There is clear evidence of a psychosomatic component to vision loss, as stress is an important cause — not just a consequence — of progressive vision loss resulting from diseases such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.”

Content shared from Medical News Today

back-to-top

A Decrease font size. A Reset font size. A Increase font size.