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Can Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision

Can Anxiety Make You Dizzy

Can Xanax cause blurred vision?

Dizziness, which includes symptoms like lightheadedness or vertigo, has many underlying causes including anxiety. In the same way that anxiety can affect the vision, adrenaline and cortisol released by the sympathetic nervous system can also have a direct impact on the vestibular system.

Vestibular problems are one of the leading causes of lightheadedness, vertigo, and other symptoms related to dizziness. When stress hormones are released, they can influence the balance of the cells within the vestibular system, leading to these symptoms.

Interestingly, dizziness can also cause trouble focusing visually, which may lead to the feeling of blurred vision.

Anxiety triggers the release of multiple stress hormones, causing a wide variety of symptoms, including visual symptoms. Although visual symptoms differ from person to person, anxiety may also cause:

Some of these visual symptoms, like tunnel vision and light sensitivity, may be more likely to appear more during acute anxiety episodes, like a panic attack. But many of these symptoms, like eye strain and eye twitching, are more likely associated with the long-term effects of excess stress and anxiety.

While some level of anxiety is normal and necessary in everyday life, sometimes anxiety can become chronic and intrusive. Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million adults in the United States, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness .

Blood Flow Vascular Dysregulation And Stress Hormones

Besides IOP, primary vascular dysregulation is particularly relevant for both, POAG pathogenesis and NTG . The connection between the ocular perfusion pressure and primary vascular dysregulation has been explicated in NTG by Flammer .

Both POAG and NTG are caused, or accelerated, by stress hormones in the vascular system such as glucocorticoids, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and endothelin-1. They influence vascular tone, particularly in and round the optic nerve and thereby impair vascular autoregulation. Stress hormones all contribute to endothelial dysfunction possibly via downregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase expression, eNOS inactivation, decreased nitric oxide actions, and increased NO degradation, together with vasoconstriction counteracting against NO-induced vasodilatation. NO is a known regulator of ocular blood flow and the reduction of NO metabolites is known to be associated with glaucoma . NO is involved in the control of basal blood flow in the choroid, optic nerve, and the retina via the maintenance of the autoregulation of ocular blood flow .

Eye Diseases Are Also Brain And Vascular Diseases In Disguise

Because the retina and eye are extensions of the brain , it may be conceivable that ophthalmologic diseases might actually also be brain diseases in disguise, both of which depend on the vascular system. For example, glaucoma is both an ocular and brain neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive damage of both the optic nerve head and different visual brain centers as well as those that control emotions . Since stress and emotional experiences affect the eye, brain, and vascular system by way of autonomic imbalance and/or stress hormone release thereby ensuing perfusion problems, and since neural circuits involved in vision and emotion have functional and physiological overlap, stress could have a direct impact on vision as well.

Diagram of stressors and their effects showing the vicious cycle of mental stress and vision loss and the cause-effect relationship of stress and vision loss. According to this concept, low vision is both cause and consequence of vision loss. Note: the disease is involving different levels of analysis, psychological, biological, and pathological

Normal-tension glaucoma:

Stressors brains cognitive interpretationemotional responsestress-related biological responses retinal and optic nerve pathologyvisual field loss.

High-tension glaucoma:

Stressors brains cognitive interpretationemotional responseautonomic imbalancerising intraocular pressure retinal and optic nerve pathologyvisual field loss.

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What Causes Dizziness And Blurred Vision

By Anna Barden

Dizziness and blurred vision can be triggered by various conditions, a reaction to medication and even stress. Whether symptoms are mild or severe, it is important to pinpoint what may have caused dizziness or blurry vision to occur.

Depending on the underlying cause, occurrences of blurred vision and dizziness are often accompanied by nausea, headache and light-headedness, among other symptoms. If blurred vision and dizziness are prolonged or other serious symptoms develop, contact a doctor.

Can Anxiety Raise Eye Pressure

What Causes Blurred Vision in One Eye &  How is it Treated

If your anxiety disorder is accompanied by severe insomnia, repetitive eye strain, or dry eyes, you may experience increased eye pressure, also called glaucoma.3 Anxiety may also worsen existing glaucoma.4

Symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Stress, suffering, pain, and mental exhaustion
  • Suppression of tears

These are signs of bodily or emotional stress. Modern medicine agrees with Susrutas literature. According to eye experts, stress can affect your vision through visual distortions or even vision loss .

When youre stressed, your body produces high levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which potentially cause an increase in eye pressure and blurry vision. People with chronic stress may experience regular eye strain accompanied by headaches.

Fortunately, most stress-related vision problems are mild and temporary and will disappear once your stress eases.

A serious eye condition caused by stress is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy . Its characterized by fluid accumulation under the retina.7 The retina is the light-sensitive part of the eye that receives light signals and sends them to the brain for interpretation.

CSCR damages the retinal pigment epithelium , a layer involved in the renewal of visual cells. This can lead to blindness.

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Anxiety And Blurred Vision


I’ve posted a few lately. I suffer terribly most days if not everyday with anxiety and panic attack symptoms. Mostly chest pains which make me believe i have a heart issue…accompanied with fear of dying, arm pains, nausea, palpitations and headaches but I’ve noticed recently my eyes seem to play up too I can’t focus properly everything seems quite blurred and almost a strain and part od me wants to just close my eyes but then I get scared and more panic sets in as I don’t know what it will be like when I open them again. Does anyone else get problems with their eyes?

1 like, 33 replies

  • Posted 7 years ago

    Hi, I had this problem with the bluurry vision aswell, I still find it hard speecially in the night with the lights from lamp posts really weird.

  • Posted 7 years ago

    Hi thanks for replying. Night time is definitely worse for me and i rarely drive at night now as like you say the light from lamp posts/being in the dark seems to make things so much harder

  • Posted 7 years ago

    Yes this is normal for me, I either get blurred eyes, or very very focused eyes to where I notice everything.

  • Posted 7 years ago

    Thanks for your message. I get the blurred vision now and then normally accompanied with either a strange heavy headache or just feeling a bit out of sorts. I do wear glasses anyway but even with glasses on it seems a problem

  • Thank you Elizabeth that’s reassuring to know.

    It’s scary enough anyway but hate it when it affects my eyes

  • How Does Stress Cause Vision Problems

    When you feel stressed, worried or fearful, your fight-or-flight response causes your body to react so that you can manage the potentially threatening situation.

    The impact of the bodys fight or flight reaction also affects the eyes and visual system and can lead to eye strain and headaches.

    Chronic stress can lead to a build up of pressure inside your eyes and put you at risk of optic nerve damage and glaucoma.

    Hundreds of studies and clinical trials have shown that stress can increase the risk of vision loss from eye diseases such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

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    Common Causes Of Blurred Vision

    What causes blurred vision? We cant say with certainty that sudden blurry vision can be caused by anxiety, but there are a number of other medical conditions that definitely cause the issue. These include:

    • Hyphemaa pooling of blood between the cornea and iris
    • Iritisinflammation of your iris
    • Keratitisinflammation of your cornea
    • Optic neuritisinflammation of your optic nerve. Can be caused by multiple sclerosis.
    • Temporal arteritisinflammation of your temporal arteries
    • Uveitisinflammation of your eye wall. Can be caused by psoriasis.
    • Preeclampsiaa pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure
    • Parkinsons Disease

    Anxiety Blurred Vision Chills And Confusion


    Last Editorial Review: 8/5/2020

    There are a few different medical conditions that are strongly associated with:

    While the symptoms above can be considered a guide to help associate symptoms common among the conditions below, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms. Below are the top condition matches for your symptom combination from MedicineNet:

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    Anxiety Blurred Vision Change In Vision And Confusion

    Reviewed on 8/5/2020

    There are a few different medical conditions that are strongly associated with:

    • Change In Vision

    While the symptoms above can be considered a guide to help associate symptoms common among the conditions below, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms. Below are the top condition matches for your symptom combination from MedicineNet:

    How Stress And Anxiety Can Affect Your Eyes

    When youre feeling extremely anxious, stressed, or having a panic attack, your body produces adrenaline as part of your fight or flight response, preparing you to either fight the danger in front of you, or run away from it. This puts pressure on your eyes, which can cause tunnel vision, floaters, flashes of light, and possibly blurred vision . Your eyes may also become sensitive to light, feel strained, start twitching, or become extremely dry or wet.2 Finally, severe anxiety can make you feel dizzy, which may make you feel like your vision has become blurred.

    In the long term, when extreme stress and anxiety happens frequently, your bodys heightened cortisol levels can cause glaucoma and optic neuropathy, which can lead to blindness.3

    Our bodies are complicated, which can make it difficult to find the cause of a symptom, including sudden blurred vision. If youre prone to extreme anxiety, and are experiencing common symptoms of anxiety such as an elevated heart rate, sweating, and not being able to concentrate, your blurry vision may be caused by your anxiety. But this is a big may. Its important to know that sudden blurred vision can be caused by other issues, and isnt necessarily a result of severe anxiety. Here are some other common causes.

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    Types Of Visual Problems And Anxiety

    • Stress, tension, and anxiety itself can all affect the eyes and cause visual problems.
    • We address 5 different ways that anxiety can affect vision.
    • Because there are different visual issues, the strategy to prevent it also depends on the type.
    • Drinking water, cutting caffeine, and small anxiety reduction activities can prevent some visual issues.
    • Because these are visual problems caused by anxiety, a more comprehensive anxiety reduction strategy will be needed.

    How Do I Tell That I Am Developing Glaucoma

    Caffeine Withdrawal &  Blurred Vision

    The real tragedy behind vision-stealing glaucoma is that most people afflicted with this eye disease do not even realize they have it. As a result, the condition goes undiagnosed and untreated, which too often leads to unnecessary blindness. Of the 2.7 million people in the United States with glaucoma, half are undiagnosed. Most are lulled into a false sense of confidence because glaucoma often displays no symptoms in its early stages. By the time it begins to affect vision, any lost sight is impossible to regain. The risk of developing glaucoma begins to increase dramatically at midlife, which is why everyone should have a baseline exam by age 40. The most important concern is protecting your sight. Doctors look at many factors before making decisions about your treatment. If your condition is particularly difficult to diagnose or treat, you may be referred to a glaucoma specialist. While glaucoma is most common in middle-aged individuals, the disease can strike at any age, with those having a family history of the disease being especially vulnerable.

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    Anxiety Blurred Vision Cloudy Vision And Depressed Mood

    Reviewed on 8/30/2021

    Changes in vision may be a result of conditions involving the eyes such as macular degeneration or cataract. Vision changes can also be signs of stroke or transient ischemic attack. A depressed mood may occur as a result of a psychological condition such as depression but may also be present in response to a physical illness. If you are troubled by any symptoms, seek the advice of your healthcare provider.

    While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:

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    Blurred Distorted Foggy Vision

    Blurred vision, such as blurry, distorted, and foggy vision symptoms, are common symptoms of anxiety disorder, including anxiety and panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias, to name a few.

    This article explains the relationship between anxiety and vision symptoms, such as blurred, distorted, or foggy vision..

    Article Menu

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    An Individualized Cervical Spine Instability And Vision Problem Treatment Protocol May Include The Following:

    • A certain number of Prolotherapy visits to resolve the instability.
    • Chiropractic consultation and treatment
    • An initial period of cervical immobilization with a cervical collar in order to limit neck forces while the ligaments regenerate.
    • A program is initiated to help restore the correct and proper cervical spine curve.
    • Our goal is to provide long-term solutions. Through extensive research and patient data analysis, it became clear that in order for patients to obtain long-term cures the re-establishment of some lordosis, in their cervical spine is necessary. Once spinal stabilization was achieved with Prolotherapy and the normalization of cervical forces by restoring some lordosis, lasting relief of symptoms was highly probable. As with any medical technique, the treatment will not work for everyone. We provide a detailed prescreening process to help assess the ideal candidates for treatment.

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    Managing Patients Who Use These Medications

    How Anxiety Causes BLURRY VISION (And How To Fix It)

    Sometimes the ocular effects of these medications can remain for a few weeks after a patient discontinues use of the medication. For this reason, Dr. Riba recommends that ophthalmologists take a detailed history of recent and previous medication use. Its possible that previous medication use may cause eye symptoms that someone is currently experiencing.

    Ophthalmologists always ask about current medication use, and this can help guide treatment for patients experiencing vision changes, Dr. Riba said. For instance, if a patient is newly using an antidepressant or anti-anxiety agent or has had a dose change, wait before fulfilling their request for a new glasses or contact prescription if possible. They may have vision changes from the medication that will subside or stabilize within a short time, Dr. Riba said.

    For the most part, a thorough annual eye exam is enough to help detect and treat vision symptoms. If any eye symptoms occur such as blurred vision, red eye, eye pain, focusing difficulty, and double vision, the patient should have an eye exam sooner, Dr. Wang said. Annual eye exams should already be part of the care for concurrent health problems some patients with anxiety or clinical depression may commonly have, such as diabetes.

    In patients with these psychiatric conditions, I am more concerned about compliance if they stop their medications without the approval of their prescribing physician, Dr. Tittler said.

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    Vision Loss: A Psychosomatic Disorder

    Others have also suggested psychosomatic components in vision loss, some looking upon it as a consequence, but others as a cause. The available literature is summarized in Table and some psychosomatic considerations are now discussed. Though the general consensus seems to be that stress is only the consequence of vision loss, numerous studies indicate that stress can be a triggering factor for visual impairment. Though it is unclear if stress alone is a sufficient condition to induce vision loss, it is a least a well-recognized and critical co-factors when other pathological conditions are present, such as arteriosclerosis, inflammation, or, as in the case of FS, an endothelial dysfunction.

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    You Have High Blood Sugar

    Even before the long-term complications of diabetes settle in, high blood sugar can cause your vision to blur. Really high sugars can lead to swelling of ones lens, says Dr. Shah. The swelling changes the shape of the eye and how it focuses, but the issue usually only lasts for a couple of hours or days.

    If you suspect you might have high blood sugar, get checked right away. Youre at risk for type 2 diabetes if you are obese or have a family history of the disorder. Other symptoms include frequent urination and excessive thirst.

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    Youre Dealing With Ocular Migraines

    An ocular migraine is typically caused by spasm of the blood vessels that feed the part of the brain responsible for processing vision, Vicente Diaz MD, MBA, a Yale Medicine ophthalmologist, tells Health. Symptoms include flashing lights, blind spots, and seeing patterns often with many jagged edges and corners, he explains.

    An ocular migraine can occur with or without a headache, and typically will last under an hour, but in 20% of cases, it can last longer. He adds that the term ocular migraine can also refer to a retinal migraine, a rare condition which causes loss of vision in one eye only and can indicate problems with retinal blood flow.

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