It is well known that stress can have harmful effects on your entire body and health. Researchers from Germany and India recently confirmed that not only does vision loss contribute to stress, but stress can worsen vision loss, creating an endless cycle.
The study uncovered that prolonged and chronic stress contributes to strain not only on the eyes, but on the brain too. This led researchers to conclude that stress is both a consequence and contributing factor to vision loss.
Due to the nature of vision loss – often non-reversible and progressive – patients often experience high levels of stress and mental anxiety. As a result, intraocular pressure decreases, which causes more stress.
Researcher Dr. Muneeb Faiq explained, “All the literature put together suggests that there is definitely a psychosomatic (caused by stress) component to vision loss, not only as a consequence, but fundamentally related to cause also. Stress and its close relation with Glaucomatous vision loss open new possibilities for glaucoma treatment.”
Furthermore, patients who are told of their diagnosis along with a poor prognosis experience greater anxiety and fear, which further worsens their condition.
Dr. Faiq continued, “With the identification of stress as an intimate etiology for vision loss, adjunct therapies like brain stimulation, meditation, relaxation response, music therapy, neuro-restoration, anxiety management, social support could find their way into management of ophthalmic diseases.”
This study reiterates the importance of reducing your stress levels not only to prevent illness and health problems but to also slow down the progression of pre-existing ones.