Can Stress Affect Your Eyes?

stress and vision problems

  Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Aaron Barriga

Stress may have an impact on your sleep, complexion, and digestion, but did you know it can also have an impact on your eyes? When you are worried or concerned, even briefly, your eyes might undergo changes such as increased intraocular pressure (IOP).

Although these changes are frequently transient, it is critical to understand how stress might affect your eyes, particularly if you have glaucoma or dry eye disease. This post will go deeper into the subject through frequently asked questions. So take a seat, unwind, and continue reading to discover the consequences of stress on your eyes.

Can Stress Cause Vision Problems?

Your body is uniquely designed to deal with stress and naturally establish equilibrium. However, chronic and excessive stress can have a negative impact on your health in a variety of ways. Chronic stress can sometimes lead to eyesight loss. So, to avoid these health risks, take care of yourself and develop approaches to handle stress.

How Stress Affects Your Vision?

Stress can cause vision problems in a number of ways. Let’s take a closer look at how this happens.

  • Stress Hormones:

    When your body is under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. Unfortunately, cortisol can disrupt the eye’s connection to the brain causing various vision problems such as blurry or distorted vision.

  • Flight or Fight Response:

    Your body also releases adrenal under stress, known as the “fight or flight” hormone. It helps prepare your body to deal with a perceived threat and dilate your pupil so that you can see clearly. When your pupil is dilated for a longer duration, you suffer from light sensitivity, eye strain, and other vision-related problems.

  • Amount of Oxygen in Your Eyes:

    When you’re stressed, your breathing can become shallow and rapid, reducing the amount of oxygen in your blood. This can cause your eyes to feel tired, dry, or even painful.

  • Inflammation:

    Finally, stress can also cause inflammation throughout your body, including in your eyes. Inflammation can lead to redness, swelling, and irritation, affecting vision.

Stress can cause eye problems

Common Stress-Related Eye Problems

Can Stress Cause High Eye Pressure?

Yes, stress and eye pressure can be interlinked. When stressed, your body produces hormones that drive your heart to race and your blood pressure to increase. This rise in blood pressure can also cause an increase in eye pressure, leading to glaucoma or other eye disorders.

Can Stress Cause Blurry Vision?

Temporary blurred vision can be caused by anxiety and stress. When you are under pressure, your pupils dilate, and your eye muscles strain, contributing to problems concentrating and impaired vision.

  • Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Blurry Vision in One Eye?

    When you are anxious or tense, your body might release so much adrenaline that it causes eye strain. This can cause blurry vision, affecting one or both eyes and occurring periodically or continuously.

  • How Long Does Blurry Vision Last From Stress?

    The good news is that stress-induced vision problems are typically temporary and will disappear as you begin to relax.

Can Stress Cause Sensitivity to Light?

Light sensitivity could be caused by stress. As previously stated in this article, when you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone that causes the pupils in your eyes to enlarge. This can cause increased sensitivity to light, headaches, and eye strain.

Can Stress Cause Eye Twitching?

Your stress and eye twitching could be related. When you are anxious, your muscles contract up, particularly those surrounding your eyes. This can result in stressful eye twitching. However, there might be other causes of this issue, such as insufficient sleep or excessive caffeine consumption.

Can Stress Cause Eye Strain?

When you are stressed, your muscles, especially those in your eyes, stiffen. Eye strain might result from this stiffness and can further cause pain, headaches, and difficulty in focusing.

Can Stress Cause Glaucoma?

Stress may not directly cause this vision problem. So can stress affect glaucoma? Yes, it can exacerbate existing glaucoma or make you more susceptible to developing it. This is because stress can increase intraocular pressure, which is a risk factor for developing glaucoma.

Can Stress Cause Tunnel Vision?

Tunnel vision, or the sensation of being hyper-focused on one thing while everything else fades into the background, can be caused by stress. When you are stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode, which causes the production of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline.

These hormones can limit your visual field, making it difficult to perceive items in your peripheral vision.

Can Stress Cause Dry Eyes?

When the eyes do not generate enough tears or when the tears evaporate too rapidly, dry eye disease develops. Stress may affect the body, including decreased tear production due to inflammation. While stress is not the only cause of dry eye disease, controlling stress levels is critical to avoid potential contributing variables.

Can Stress Cause Eye Floaters and Flashes?

Stress may not create eye floaters. But it can aggravate them and make them more noticeable. The degradation of the vitreous humour as you age causes eye floaters. When you are worried, your body release epinephrine (adrenaline), which dilates your pupils. Constant dilatation might cause eye strain and other side effects.

What Kind of Stress Causes Vision Problems?

Any type of stress, whether general, chronic, or extreme, can cause vision issues. Mental weariness, conversion disease, and anxiety can also cause eye problems. You can assist your body in calming down and switching off the stress response by addressing the exact sort of stress you’re feeling. You can do these 6 eye relaxation exercises that work to improve your vision.

What Are the Best Treatment Options for Stress-Related Vision Problems?

If you have stress-induced visual difficulties, you should include stress reduction and relaxation techniques in your treatment strategy. Meditation, yoga, and autogenic training are examples of these practices.

Additional options include stress management strategies, breath work, counseling, and social support. Your eye physician can also work with you to alleviate stress and develop a more hopeful attitude toward eye health.


It’s a fact that stress can harm your vision. It produces all types of vision problems, from acute blurriness to long-term eye disorders. Thus, it is critical to handle stress in your life. You can use relaxation techniques, exercise regularly, and seek help from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Safeguard your vision and live a happier life by prioritising your mental and physical health.

FAQs – Sunburned Eyes

Usually, the natural healing process for sunburned eyes takes only one or two days. However, if your symptoms are severe and your vision has been affected, you should see a doctor. They can prescribe the required eyedrops for treatment.
Eyes damaged by the sun show redness and swelling in the white part of the eye. Vision may be blurry, and the eyes could have a constant gritty sensation.
The best way to prevent sunburn in your eyes is to wear high-quality protective eye gear. If you are fond of winter sports or plan to spend time outdoors during the summer – choose your eye gear carefully. Opt for sunglasses that offer 99% to 100% UV rays protection, and wear them whenever you step outside. For additional protection, you can wear a wide-brimmed hat.

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