In November, we recognize International Stress Awareness Week, and given our emphasis on eye and vision care, it's important to speak about the effects of stress and anxiety on our eyes.
Everything around us is affected by stress. Our eyes can be significantly affected by it in multiple ways. Being aware of how your body reacts to stress can substantially reduce the impact on the eyes.
How Stress Affects the Eyes
Stress affects our body mainly by releasing two hormones: cortisol, the main stress hormone, and adrenaline, which activates our “fight or flight” response.
This may manifest in the eyes as:
- Visual distortions: Blurry vision, tunnel vision, or double vision, which may be temporary or constant. The dilatation of your pupils mainly causes these visual disturbances.
- Twitching Eyelids: Caused by random muscle spasms in one or both eyes.
- Eye Floaters: The appearance of dark spots swimming in your field of vision.
- Light Sensitivity: The feeling that bright light hurts your eyes.
- Dry Eyes: A gritty sensation in your eyes that manifests with redness and blurry vision.
- Eye Strain: A significant symptom of stress for people who use screens for more than 2-3 hours daily—for example, Computer Vision Syndrome.
- Tension Headaches: Pressure around your forehead and pain behind your eyes.
- Light Flashes: Seeing stars in the corner of one’s eyes.
How to Reduce the Effect of Stress on the Eyes
There are several ways we can reduce stress on the eyes, including:
- Adjusting your lighting conditions: When watching TV, it is advised to keep the room softly lit. When doing close work, it is advised to put the light source behind you and direct the light on your task or desk.
- Give your eyes a break: You can simply follow the 20, 20, 20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, take a break for 20 seconds and look at something 20 feet away from you.
- Limit your screen time: Limiting screen time has been shown to help with dry eye symptoms, eye strain, and headaches.
- Use preservative-free artificial tears: We usually blink 15 to 20 times per minute. When screens are used for a long time, this natural eye-lubrication mechanism is greatly reduced, and your tears evaporate from the eye surface. Using preservative-free artificial tears can greatly compensate for that.
- Choose an eyeglass lens specifically for your needs: Glasses with blue-light lenses, for example, have been shown to reduce eye strain and dry eye and improve your sleep cycle. Hence reducing your stress levels.
NURILENS’ premium wooden eyewear glasses come with blue-light filters, UV protection, anti-reflective coatings, and other protections that can reduce stress on the eyes. Check out our collection at www.nurilens.co.