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Does Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision

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

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  • Ive had headaches for years. Theyve been called migraines. Ive tried all types of pain medications, but I still get headaches.
  • My neck and the back of my head and shoulders really bother me. Massage and neck adjustments seem to help, but only for a short while.
  • Lately, Ive been getting more and more bouts of lightheadedness and dizziness. It seems worse when I bend down to pick something up and get up quickly. I feel uncoordinated and unsteady. When I walk, I often bump into things.
  • When I am in a large department store or crowd, I feel rather uncomfortable and anxious.
  • Ive seen multiple doctors, had a CAT scan and MRI, and all of the doctors say that I am fine. However, I am still getting dizzy and having severe headaches.

How Stress Affects Vision

When the body is stressed, your pupils dilate to allow more light to enter so you can see potential threats more clearly. However, high levels of adrenaline can cause pressure on the eyes, resulting in blurred vision.

Many patients are not always aware of the impact of stress on their visual health and function, says Barbara Horn, OD and president of the American Optometric Association. The ocular impact of stress may range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating vision loss.

Yes, stress may be causing your eye twitching This lid twitching is a result of the continuous contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle. The twitching is typically in just one eye, benign and temporary.

Stress also can lead to vision loss. Furthermore, stress not only causes new conditions but worsens existing conditions.

For example, research published in 2018 in theEPMA Journal concludes that ongoing psychological stress and the associated increased level of cortisol are risk factors in the development and progression of deteriorating vision.

The researchers analyzed hundreds of studies and clinical trials, concluding that while prolonged mental stress is clearly a consequence of vision loss, it may also aggravate the situation.

Cortisol can be one of the major causes of serious vision diseases, including glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Blurred Vision May Be A Symptom Or A Trigger

When you’re hyperventilating, blurry vision may actually worsen your anxiety symptoms. That’s because those experience blurry vision may start to experience more anxiety as they worry about why their vision has changed. They may also notice their blurry vision more than someone without anxiety because those with anxiety attacks have a tendency to become over-sensitive to changes in their body.

Hyperventilation itself is also a known panic attack trigger. As you’re hyperventilating and your eyes become blurry, you may start to experience a panic attack. That panic attack may cause you to hyperventilate further, which causes your vision to become more blurry.

Furthermore, every once in a while your eyes may be a bit blurry for no reason. Short term vision changes happen to everyone. But if you suffer from anxiety, you may unintentionally respond to those vision changes in a way that makes your anxiety worse, as they may trigger an anxiety attack or further anxiety.

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Symptoms Associated With Double Vision

In addition to dizziness and nausea, you might also be experiencing double, overlapping or shadowed vision. It can also manifest as extreme light sensitivity caused by seeing an amplified glare coming from surfaces. If youve always been clumsy or uncoordinated or have poor hand-eye coordination, difficulty with sports which require catching or hitting a ball, you may be suffering from BVD. Besides blurred vision, shadowed vision or layered vision, you might also find yourself covering or closing one eye to make visual tasks easier.

How To Prevent Visual Problems Caused By Anxiety

Can Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision Dizziness

Preventing visual problems caused by anxiety is usually a matter of preventing the anxiety itself. However, there are also things you’ll want to avoid during your anxiety attack to decrease the likelihood of these symptoms occurring.

  • Drink Lots of Water Drinking water will help keep you hydrated and prevent your body from being additionally taxed by the anxiety attack.
  • Turn off the Lights Too much visual stimulus can make the visual problems that accompany anxiety more severe. Helping you eyes calm down and stop overreacting will have the added benefit of helping you calm down.
  • Sit/Lie Down When you feel yourself getting anxious and you know visual problems may crop up, it’s best not to be doing anything that requires visual acuity. If you happen to be driving, this means pull over. Being in the middle of something when you get anxious can have the effect of making you more anxious about how it is affecting what you are doing, which can subsequently worsen your vision. Also, getting plenty of rest and relaxing or meditating in a sitting position once a day can make you calmer overall and decrease the frequency of you anxiety attacks.
  • No Caffeine Put down that soda or coffee you were working on, and if possible avoid caffeinated beverages altogether. Caffeine just increases your heart rate and puts additional pressure on your system. Do yourself a favor and stick to decaf coffee, sodas and teas.

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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.

You’re 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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How Can Blurry Vision Cause Anxiety

The anxiety Has such a direct effect on the functioning of our body and mind that it can originate a large number of Physical symptoms, including blurred vision.

There is now no conclusive data on how many people with anxiety suffer from blurred vision.

However, it seems to be a frequent symptom among those who suffer from high levels of anxiety.

Blurred vision is a sign of loss of visual acuity that can be caused by various diseases such as eye injuries, diabetes, glaucoma, Cataracts, myopia, etc.

However, anxiety, through hormonal alterations, changes in blood sugar levels, increases in blood circulation and Causing eye strain, can also cause the typical symptoms of blurred vision.

Thus, people with elevated levels of anxiety may find it more difficult to focus on their vision, view objects at a long distance, or see The things with the clarity that they saw it before.

Likewise, anxiety can cause photophobia, a feeling of irritability to intense light stimuli, as well as eye pain due to Direct effect of increased pressure of that area of the body.

Thus, although blurred vision is often not included as one of the typical symptoms of anxiety, elevated levels of stress may Cause such alterations.

Now, if I have blurred vision due to my anxiety state, will it disappear when my nervousness lessens or will it persist forever?

Do You Know How Stress Affects Your Eyes

Can Xanax cause blurred vision?

Stress impacts us mentally and physically, but did you know it can affect our vision?

When we are severely stressed and anxious, high levels of adrenaline in the body can cause pressure on the eyes, resulting in blurred vision. People with long-term anxiety can suffer from eye strain during the day on a regular basis. If you become highly sensitised to any slight movement, over time the strain from other senses can cause muscular tensions and headaches.

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The Role Of Adrenaline

In the case of chronic stress and anxiety, the level of adrenaline within the body remains elevated. This can cause pressure on the eyes, sometimes resulting in blurred vision. Tunnel vision is another feature of excessive adrenaline. This tends to occur at times high arousal or during a panic event.

Many people with long-term anxiety find they experience eyestrain during the day. A common feature of anxiety is hypervigilance and the anticipation of events that will increase stress. Vigilance actually affects all the senses, but as far as vision is concerned, our pupils dilate in response to adrenaline order to take in more of the surroundings. We become highly sensitized to any slight movement. Over time this and the strain from other senses can cause muscular tensions and headaches.

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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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.

What Can You Do

Can Anxiety Cause Blurred Vision Dizziness

If you think that your eye problems are stress-related, you can start by trying to relax. Think about your symptoms as warning signsyour body is obviously trying to respond to a threat, and its hurting you. The best thing to do is to try to calm down your brains response to danger.

You probably know what de-stresses you better than anybody. However, if you need some ideas, try:

  • Taking a long, warm bath and focusing on how it feels
  • Meditating
  • Taking slow, deep breaths, sending the air into your belly instead of your chest
  • Writing in a journal
  • Exercising

As always, youll feel better if you make sure to get enough sleep and eat well. Even though youre busy, taking at least a few minutes to consciously relax will help your body calm down.

If you feel stressed or worried most of the time, you may need to make bigger changes. You may be trying to do too much in too little time and need to cut back. Alternatively, you may have an anxiety disorder, which is highly treatable. If you constantly feel like youre on edge, it might be time to speak with a doctor or counselor to make sure that youre emotionally and physically healthy.

Once youve found a way to deal with your stress, your eyes should go back to normal. Stress-related eye issues should be temporary and easy to fix. However, if you continue to have problems, make sure to visit your eye doctor. The optometrists here at All About Eyes are ready to assist you so that your eyes are as comfortable as possible.

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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:

  • Anxiety
  • Change In Vision
  • Confusion

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:

What Should You Do If Your Eyes Just Feel Weird

I probably dont need to say this, but since its online here is my down and dirty disclaimer. It is always recommended to seek the advice from a physician if you are really concerned or if the problem persists.

Listen, Id rather search up things like this online as well since my insurance isnt exactly the best. But SOMETIMES, a physicians opinion can be worth the price of entry if it provides you with peace of mind and the relief of knowing whether something is seriously wrong or not.

Based on my research, however, there are certain things that are more alarming than others.

Blurred vision and flashes of light are probably most concerning.

Read Also: What Causes Anxiety Panic Attacks

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