Stress, tension, anxiety is the middle name for all of us who are in younger and middle age, torn between family, daily obligations and business ambitions.
The hustle and bustle of modern life leaves traces on our health sooner or later, suddenly or gradually. The group of psychosomatic diseases is growing, and the organ of the sense of sight is not spared either.
Chronic tension, exhaustion and insomnia can lead to mild vision disorders, but sometimes to very serious ones.
Among the milder problems, patients may notice wider pupils in conditions of predominance of sympathetic nerves – part of the autonomic nervous system. Hence blurred vision, inability to focus, increased sensitivity to light, unpleasant feeling and increased fatigue.
With prolonged stress, also due to the predominance of the sympathetic, the muscle fibers of the circular muscle of the eye become overexcited, and muscle fibrillations occur – tremors, which are involuntary, occur in bursts and are very unpleasant.
Patients feel the vibrations of the muscle fibers, they say that the “eyelid dances”, and sometimes other people notice it or the person himself notices it in the mirror. Sometimes with fibrillation so strong that the entire eyeball “plays”.
Some of the more serious disorders that can leave permanent consequences for vision should be mentioned.
In stages of stress, a wide pupil in people who are farsighted (have a greater + diopter) can lead to blockages in the angle of aqueous outflow and a jump in eye pressure. This is how an acute attack of angular glaucoma occurs, accompanied by pain in the eye and the same half of the head, blurred vision, scattering of light in the form of rainbow colors, sometimes with nausea and vomiting.
By visiting an ophthalmologist, the problem can be solved very quickly by applying the appropriate therapy, and then with a laser, permanently.
In the phase of severe stress in people who normally have a problem with blood vessels (for example, unregulated high pressure), a spasm of the main central retinal artery can occur, which is manifested by a sudden narrowing of the field of vision – fortunately, of a transient nature. However, vascular incidents can also be permanent, non-transitory in the form of occlusions of blood vessels of arteries and veins, which are accompanied by a greater or lesser loss of vision.
Such outbursts in the field of vision certainly require an urgent visit to an ophthalmologist for timely diagnosis and therapy.
In young people, most often men in their second and third decades of life, primarily over-responsible, over-ambitious, hard-working, meticulous (type “A” people), often in conditions of chronically elevated levels of adrenaline and stress hormones, there is an accumulation of fluid under the retina, and in the area of the yellow spot, our point of clear vision.
The consequences are a drop in visual acuity, distortion of the image – metamorphopsia, reduced images, as well as the appearance of a “spot” in the central part of the field of vision. This condition, central serous chorioretinopathy, requires an urgent examination by an ophthalmologist – a retinologist, where, along with the examination, macular imaging by means of optical coherence tomography is mandatory. Based on the findings, therapy is created, which can be medicinal or laser therapy.
The good side of this disease is that there is never a great loss of vision – the bad side is the tendency for relapses and complications in old age, when the condition is increasingly difficult to treat.
The most important thing is for the patient to understand that stress is accumulated in a large amount and that through the vegetative nervous system and blood vessels it can seriously endanger health, in this case vision.
Along with medical treatment, we experts warn patients that they must stop with the old way of life and that they need to relax.
We advise: proper work and rest regime, long walks in nature, meditation, warm baths, breathing exercises, healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and nicotine. If necessary, psychotherapy should also be included, and for a while also therapy with anxiolytics.