Sometimes, when we experience situations of high anxiety or stress, it is common to notice that our vision blurs or becomes a little more blurry. Has this ever happened to you? We explain why.
Stress and blurred vision are often linked. If so, it is due to the large kaleidoscope of complex symptoms, manifestations, and processes associated with this psychological condition.
Some people feel more pressure in their chest, others complain of stomach pain or muscle discomfort. and many suffer from these visual disturbances.
what is it about? How do we differentiate it from an eye problem?
The main thing is that this experience always occurs when the person is going through a moment of great emotional intensity. Blurred vision, like tunnel vision, does not appear at rest. This is usually another symptom of a panic attack.
On the other hand, it is also common for other types of sensation or curious alterations to occur, such as seeing flashes, feeling pulsation in the eye, seeing shadows, feeling that vision becomes excessively bright, almost dream-like. All these descriptions are often linked to a state of great stress and anxiety.
Stress and blurred vision: Manifestations, courses, And Treatments
We all know that when we are faced with any vision problem, the best thing to do is always to consult an ophthalmologist.
However, some manifestations are specific, what happens from time to time, and to which we do not give excessive importance.
Likewise, when you have been anxious for a while, you end up feeling so many symptoms, discomfort, and sensations that you no longer really know what can be psychosomatic and what results from an organic or physiological problem.
In the field of ophthalmology, it is well-known that anxiety and blurred vision are closely linked. Additionally, factors like persistent stress and even depression often have their own impact on our eye health.
Something striking could be observed in some studies carried out by researchers: people with major depression have more problems with visual discrimination tasks.
This perception becomes slower and, although the mechanism by which it occurs is not yet known, we do know that alterations in optical matter are common when there is a physiological state of mood. So let’s look at the relationship between anxiety and blurred vision.
Visual disturbances and stress: what are the symptoms?
We emphasized at the beginning that this characteristic of vision, although it is associated with stress, does not appear as a unique symptom. it usually appears with other manifestations, including:
- Rough breathing, tachycardia
- Pressure in the chest or stomach
- Sweating or chills
- Dry mouth
- Along with one or more of these symptoms, blurred vision, tunnel vision, visual distortions, seeing numbers out of the corner of the eye, etc. Also, appear.
What causes blurred vision when we feel stressed?
Note that this phenomenon is generally temporary, it does not last long. Now, if anxiety and blurred vision appear together, it is mainly due to three factors:
Stress results from increased adrenaline in the body. It speeds up the heart, brings more oxygen to the muscle, and alerts.
However, this chemical agent also causes dilation of the pupils. This effect facilitates the greater entry of light and makes it difficult for us to concentrate. The eyes suffer, muscle tension is felt and all this generates blurred or even tunneled vision.
There is also another determining factor: increased blood pressure. The greater the stress, the more hypertension occurs and this fact also impacts eye health. On the other hand, it is also important to refer to panic attacks.
This condition seems to be a spontaneous experience that presents unilateral symptoms that alter the organism’s function. The energy expenditure is immense, and it is common for vision to be affected or even become blurry.
Stress and blurred vision, what can I do if it happens often?
The phenomena of blurred vision associated with disorders such as stress, depression, or anxiety are generally temporary. Thus, and as we have pointed out, it is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, generally more bothersome: headaches, insomnia, digestive problems, muscle pain, etc.
The most important thing is to eliminate visual problems first. For this, it never hurts to consult an ophthalmologist. Once it is clear that there’s no eye health problem, it is time to focus on the root of the problem.
The ideal thing to do in this case, especially if you have had such symptoms for a long time, is to seek help from a professional.
Everyone can carry out particular strategies, but the best thing is that someone guides us, and empowers us so that we can face difficulties, fierce and problems ourselves, being more competent, and more capable. The three techniques that can help us the most in this case are,
Cognitive techniques such as cognitive restructuring. Thanks to it, we will work on those thoughts that limit us, that hinder our potential and our well-being.
Appropriate progressive muscle relaxation technique and diaphragmatic breathing. These are effective mechanisms for proper physiological activity.
It is also interesting to work on aspects such as social skills, emotional management, acceptance, and commitment to oneself, these are ameliorating techniques.
Dealing with anxiety always starts with each person’s personal reality. This is the starting point, this is the part we must take every day to improve our quality of life and well-being.
Living with chronic stress is difficult. Individuals affected with this condition experience mental conditions that disrupt their daily life activities.
It is not bad to seek medical assistance as this will help to manage this condition and effectively cope with the condition. It is therefore imperative to seek appropriate treatment and assistance when we notice this condition.
Experiencing a calm mind and relaxed physiological balance is possible, let’s strive to attain this. It is however not a pleasant experience to live with stress, as individuals suffer critical emotional problems and psychological imbalance. Do everything possible to get help and consult your doctor.
- Kim Y-K, et al. (2017). Psychological distress in patients with symptomatic vitreous floaters. DOI:
- Floaters. (2019).