Can Stress Cause Vision Problems or Blindness?

Can Stress Cause Vision Problems or Blindness
Can Stress Cause Vision Problems or Blindness?

Anxiety and stress can harm your eyesight among other parts of your health. You may lose your vision or develop other visual problems including light sensitivity, blurriness, or decreased visual acuity.

Chronic stress may hasten the onset of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Short-term dry eyes may be caused by stress and stress-related behaviours.

Psychogenic blindness can also be brought on by stress. This is blindness without a known structural issue that has a psychological explanation.

Continue reading to find out more about the link between stress and issues with vision.

Can stress and anxiety cause vision problems?

It is not a novel concept that stress can cause visual impairments. It is thought to have existed for at least 3,000 years.

Though much has changed since then, current research continues to bolster the possibility that stress plays a role in vision loss.

Can stress cause blurry vision?

Stress may be a factor in the development of hazy vision in several ways, including:
  • Drying out your eyes: Researchers discovered a link between dry eye illness and anxiety and sadness in a study of studies published in 2022. One sign of potentially dry eyes is blurry vision.
  • Medication side effects: Some drugs, including tricyclic antidepressants, which are used to treat stress or anxiety, can cause side effects like dilated pupils and impaired vision.
  • Lead to retinal disease: Research reveals that perceived stress is a risk factor for central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR). CSCR leads to fluid buildup in the macula (the central region of the retina), which can cause impaired vision.
  • Glaucoma: Researchers discovered evidence in a 2021 study that sadness and anxiety accelerated the development of glaucoma. Visibility problems are frequently among the initial signs of glaucoma.

Can stress cause blindness?

Blindness is a loss of vision that can range from a slight blurriness to total blindness.

There may be a brief loss of vision without any signs of structural damage to the eye. This condition is known as conversion disorder or psychogenic blindness when it occurs. It frequently happens after a distressing incident.

Other ways stress affects vision

Your body produces stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which alter your body in ways such as:
  • increased heart rate
  • reduced intestinal activity
  • increased breathing rate
  • enhanced breakdown of carbs and fats
These hormones have the potential to harm your eyes over time by raising intraocular pressure and decreasing blood supply to the retina and optic nerve.

Numerous eye conditions that have symptoms like these may arise as a result of these alterations.
  • light sensitivity
  • eye pain
  • reduced visual acuity
  • tunnel vision
  • eyestrain
  • double vision

How to treat stress-related vision problems

Reducing stress is a major component of treating visual impairments caused by stress. Here are a few strategies to help you manage and lessen stress in your life:
  • getting regular exercise
  • consuming a diet rich in nutrients and well-balanced
incorporating calming pursuits like these into your everyday schedule:
  • walks in nature
  • yoga
  • deep breathing exercises
  • prioritizing getting enough sleep
  • talking with a therapist
  • reducing your caffeine intake

When to get medical help

Whenever you notice any changes to your vision, such as the following, get quick medical assistance from an eye doctor.
  • sudden loss of vision
  • trouble reading
  • blurry vision
If you don't think you can handle your stress or it's interfering with your life, you might also want to see a mental health expert.


Can anxiety affect your eyesight?

Bright lights may damage your eyes more than usual or make it tougher for you to see when you're upset or anxious. It's called photophobia. Although light sensitivity is usually the result of stress, it can occasionally indicate a more serious illness.

Can anxiety cause blind spots?

Increased adrenaline exerts strain on the eyes, which can cause visual problems. Anxiety can cause abnormalities in vision, such as seeing stars, shadows, or flashing spots.

How long does anxiety vision last?

Tunnel visions can occur hourly, minutely, or continuously in the background while battling an anxiety disease. While popular, not all of these variants and combinations are required. When under stress or exhaustion, the symptoms of restricted tunnel vision may become more apparent.


Your vision can be affected by stress in several ways. Macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eyes, and other eye conditions could all be exacerbated by it.

Consulting a physician is usually a good idea if you observe any changes in your vision. If you think you can't handle your stress on your own, you might want to see a mental health expert.

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