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Take a minute to relax: Stress can be bad for your eyes

Stress is your body’s response to demands that your body has taken on and also events that are occurring in your life. This can be brought on due to fears, a loss of a loved one, overload of work, money problems, the responsibility of raising a family plus many more reasons, everyone has experienced mild to severe stress in their lifetimes. Regardless of the severity, it is important to manage stress effectively because if it becomes overwhelming, it could have a negative impact on your mental and physical health.

According to Medical News Today (2018), there has been a new analysis of clinic reports and existing research. Findings have shown that stress is not only a consequence of vision loss, but also a cause.

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Although this is not common, it is frequently found that people are experiencing stress-related eye problems. These include:

Tunnel vision: Your peripheral vision may be decreasing, meaning you can only see clearly ahead of you

Sensitivity to light: You may find yourself turning down or completely turning off your lights due to the brightness hurting your eyes or causing discomfort

Eye twitching: You may be experiencing random eye spasms

Eye floaters: You may find yourself seeing light spots that move around your vision

Migraines: A moderate to severe headache that usually occurs on one side of your head. Associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound

Central Serous Retinopathy: This occurs when fluid starts building up in your retina. Although there is no exact cause, stress is believed to be a factor that triggers the disease. Central Serous Retinopathy can be detected through the dilation of your eye and an eye exam and usually clears up on its own after a few months with the vision being good although, there are some cases where people have found that their vision is not as clear as it once used to be.

So what can you do to help eye problems that are stress-related?

Take a step back and relax!

Your symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something is going wrong. Don’t ignore the warning signs. It’s important to get enough rest and make sure you are eating/drinking properly. As well as this, you should try to find ways to reduce the amount of stress your mind and body are taking on. Some people find that taking baths, meditation, exercising, drawing and many more activities are excellent ways to unwind after a stressful day.

If you are stressed due to work, Mind have recommended that employers should start conversations about stress in the workplace. By doing so, staff will be able to share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed. If your workplace does not have these types of conversations, speak to your employer about implementing something that will help you and your co-workers. Once you have dealt with the cause of what has been causing you stress, your eye problems should go away over a period of time. If you feel that it could be more than just stress, arrange an appointment to see your GP or your local Optometrist.

About Our London Eye Clinic Experts

Meet the My-iClinic founders, Mr John Bolger and Ms Bola Odufuwa. Two consultant eye surgeons who made it their life goal to make your life better.

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Bola Odufuwa-Bolger

Consultant Ophthalmologist
Clinic Director

Bola Odufuwa is a consultant ophthalmologist at The Royal Free Hospital and My-iClinic. Her specialities include cataract, glaucoma, paediatric, and laser refractive surgery. Bola has had extensive training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, where she gained expertise in the management of various eye conditions.

Bola Odufuwa’s special interests include optimal refractive outcomes following cataract surgery, non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, and assessment eyesight in children with special needs: particularly dyslexia and autism.

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Mr John Bolger

Consultant Ophthalmologist
Clinic Director

John Bolger is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Clinic Director at My-iClinic. His specialities include ophthalmology, laser refractive surgery (SMILE, Presbyond, LASIK, PRK, PTK), refractive lens exchange (RLE), cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment and macular degeneration.

Over the course of his career, John Bolger has carried out over 35,000 cataract operations, 20 of which were for eye surgeons. He has also taught over 1500 young ophthalmologists worldwide as they begin their surgical careers.