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Can Anxiety Cause Blurry Vision

Brain Circuits Implicated In The Stress Response

How Anxiety Causes BLURRY VISION (And How To Fix It)

Besides the systemic stressors and homeostatic imbalances, the response to psychological or emotional stressors is key, but this requires appraisal and processing activities by higher brain regions.

While brain stem nuclei regulate the activation of SAM and the HPA with ascending projections, several top-down processes are involved in eliciting the stress response. These brain structures include limbic forebrain structures, including the amygdala, the hippocampus, as well as the prefrontal cortex . While hippocampus and PFC atrophy in conditions of chronic stress, the amygdala volume increases. It is involved in autonomic regulation and fear learning , and its volume enlargement is found in glaucoma patients . But how the brains visual and emotional system interacts in cases of low vision is a yet unexplored issue of ardent importance.

Blurry Vision And Central Serous Retinopathy

Blurry vision is a common symptom of CSR because the condition often affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision.

As fluid builds up underneath the macula, it can create a small, blister-like swelling which separates it from the retina.1 If the fluid builds up underneath the macula, you could experience blurred vision when doing things like reading, or using your smart phone this is because the macula is responsible for distinguishing fine details.4

Sometimes, fluid does not build up under the macula, and if this is the case, you may not experience any blurred vision at all.4 An optometrist will need to examine your eye, in either case, to identify whether you have central serous retinopathy.

Blurred Vision Common Symptom Descriptions

  • Your vision is unusually blurred, unclear, murky, or unclear.
  • Your vision is distorted, different, unusual, or foggy, yet there is nothing medically wrong with your eyes.
  • Your vision is so blurry it can feel like you are looking through dirty glasses.
  • Your vision is becoming unusually blurred as if there is something on your eyes that is obscuring the incoming images.
  • It can also seem like the objects you are looking at are unusually blurred, muddied, distorted, skewed, twisted out of shape, or contorted.

This symptom can occur in one eye, both eyes, or randomly switch from one eye to the other.

This symptom can come on gradually or suddenly.

This symptom can occur rarely, frequently, or persistently day after day.

Blurred, distorted, or foggy vision can precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms or occur by itself. It can also precede, accompany, or follow a period of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and stress, or occur “out of the blue” and for no apparent reason.

This symptom can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves where its strong one moment and eases off the next.

This symptom can change from day to day, moment to moment, or remain throughout your struggle with anxiety disorder.

All the above combinations and variations are common.

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Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness And Blurred Vision

Anxiety is not a common cause of blurred vision but there is a possible link between the two.

What generally happens when you are in a highly anxious state or suffering from a panic attack is that your vision actually improves and sharpens. This is because your body has gone into a fight or flight mode in response to a fear or perceived threat, and your vision often sharpens to help you identify the threat more easily.

For some people, the opposite is true and they actually suffer from blurred vision and dizziness during moments of high anxiety. During a panic attack when the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, things start to move faster. Your heart starts racing, your blood pressure rises and your muscles may start twitching. Because everything is moving faster as your body prepares you to identify threats, you may have difficulty focusing on the things around you. This lack of focus combined with everything moving quickly can be the cause of blurred vision and dizziness.

What Exactly Is Anxiety

Stress and Blurry Vision + What to Do About It

Anxiety is part of the human condition and serves to confront situations of danger or risk.

In this way, we can understand anxiety as a mechanism of activation of our mind that, in certain situations, begins to perform actions To activate the response of our body.

For example, if at night we walk alone in the forest and suddenly we hear a threatening noise, our mind will be activated immediately to be able Respond quickly and effectively.

This activation is vital because, if perceived fear poses a real threat, anxiety will enable us to make a response Behavior that could save our life.

However, as we have been saying, this activation is not only realized by our mind, since it is in charge of preparing our whole body for the action.

So, at this moment, our mind cancels the digestive processes or the sexual libido so as not to waste energy in aspects that are not relevant to the Situation.

Our mind also takes care of tensing our muscles so that they can respond properly if they require fast movements, increases The sweating of our body and increases our body temperature to stimulate our body.

This allows us to clarify two fundamental aspects:

  • Anxiety, biologically speaking, has a normal functionality and necessary for the survival of the species, since it is the way we have Humans respond to threats.

  • Anxiety originates in our minds but does not spread rapidly through our body, involving the whole organism.

  • The anxiety experienced is of an excessive intensity.

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    Worldwide Research Activities On Stress And Ophthalmology

    The above case report demonstrates that stress can lead to a dramatic, psychosomatic reaction in the visual system while reduction in stress and enhanced blood flow can notably improve the condition. There are, however, many similar stories of vision recovery and most clinicians are aware of visual field fluctuations. Rozanski et al. proposed that visual field performance is not only a function of the actual vision loss itself but is highly variable due to anxiety and functional losses of vision. They presented a conceptual framework for the development of coping strategies and mindfulness-based interventions to reduce stress associated with negative thoughts and worries . Though there are unexplained cases of vision loss and cases of unexpected recovery , yet the literature is surprisingly silent as to how the mosaic of stress, vision loss, vision recovery, and restoration are connected. It should not escape our notice that the term unexplained could have two meanings: no pathology found or pathological changes existed, but they could not explain the visual field.

    How Stress And Anxiety Can Affect Your Eyes

    When youre feeling extremely anxious, stressed, or having a panic attack, your body produces adrenaline as part of your fight or flight response, preparing you to either fight the danger in front of you, or run away from it. This puts pressure on your eyes, which can cause tunnel vision, floaters, flashes of light, and possibly blurred vision . Your eyes may also become sensitive to light, feel strained, start twitching, or become extremely dry or wet.2 Finally, severe anxiety can make you feel dizzy, which may make you feel like your vision has become blurred.

    In the long term, when extreme stress and anxiety happens frequently, your bodys heightened cortisol levels can cause glaucoma and optic neuropathy, which can lead to blindness.3

    Our bodies are complicated, which can make it difficult to find the cause of a symptom, including sudden blurred vision. If youre prone to extreme anxiety, and are experiencing common symptoms of anxiety such as an elevated heart rate, sweating, and not being able to concentrate, your blurry vision may be caused by your anxiety. But this is a big may. Its important to know that sudden blurred vision can be caused by other issues, and isnt necessarily a result of severe anxiety. Here are some other common causes.

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    Nervous System Excitation And Dysregulation

    The eye is a complex organ that, in conjunction with the nervous system , contains a vast number of nerve cells, also known as neurons. Nerve cells are unique because of their electrochemical properties .

    These nerve cells receive and send information back and forth to and from the brain. For instance, optical information is received in the eye and transmitted through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain interprets this information and forms a visual image that we see in our minds.

    Moreover, when we want to look at something, our thoughts create nerve impulses that trigger muscle groups attached to the eyes. These nerve impulses cause the appropriate eye muscles to contract, causing the eyes to move in the direction we want to look.

    When we say a vast number of nerve cells involved in this process, we mean VAST!

    One optic nerve alone contains over 1 million nerve fibres, and the nervous system contains over 100 billion nerve cells that link to tens of thousands of other nerve cells located throughout the body.

    When the body and nervous system are healthy and functioning normally, this process works well. However, when the body becomes hyperstimulated , the body and nervous system can encounter problems.

    As the degree of hyperstimulation increases, the likelihood of visual problems increases.

    The above combination of factors can cause many unusual visual symptoms, including blurry, distorted, or foggy vision.

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    The Role Of Adrenaline

    VISION CHANGES and ANXIETY – How are they connected?

    In the case of chronic stress and anxiety, the level of adrenaline within the body remains elevated. This can cause pressure on the eyes, sometimes resulting in blurred vision. Tunnel vision is another feature of excessive adrenaline. This tends to occur at times high arousal or during a panic event.

    Many people with long-term anxiety find they experience eyestrain during the day. A common feature of anxiety is hypervigilance and the anticipation of events that will increase stress. Vigilance actually affects all the senses, but as far as vision is concerned, our pupils dilate in response to adrenaline order to take in more of the surroundings. We become highly sensitized to any slight movement. Over time this and the strain from other senses can cause muscular tensions and headaches.

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    Can Anxiety Attacks Last For Days

    Anxiety attacks typically last no more than 30 minutes, with the symptoms reaching their most intense at about halfway through the attack. Anxiety can build up for hours or even days before the actual attack so it is important to take note of factors that contribute to anxiety to effectively prevent or treat them.

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    Mental Stress: Consequence Or Cause Of Vision Loss

    Our hypothesis that visual impairment has, at least in part, a psychosomatic component is based on two considerations: Firstly, patients suffering from low vision often report that their vision loss happened at a time of massive or prolonged mental stress . The source of massive mental stress could be significant life events such as financial, marital, employment , or serious health problems. When asked about it, patients often mention their impression that their vision loss might have been triggered by stress.

    The second consideration is the biological response chain following continuously elevated stress hormone levels in blood vessels . They cause vascular dysregulation which leads to insufficient amounts or the timing of oxygen supply in the eye tissue, with widespread consequences on the biochemical, physiological, and psychological level of analysis. The Flammer syndrome is one example of this, where endothelial cell dysfunction, possibly due to genetic abnormalities in combination with stress hormone exposure, leads to vascular autoregulation problems . However, direct proof of this hypothesis is still lacking.

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    What Do Blind People See

    A person with total blindness won’t be able to see anything. But a person with low vision may be able to see not only light, but colors and shapes too. However, they may have trouble reading street signs, recognizing faces, or matching colors to each other. If you have low vision, your vision may be unclear or hazy.

    What Happens In Our Body When We Are Anxious

    What Causes Blurred Vision in One Eye &  How is it Treated

    As we have explained, anxiety always appears with a very clear objective: to activate both our body and our mind to be alert and Capable of responding quickly and effectively to threats.

    This anxiety function holds for both adaptive anxiety, when it appears before a real threatening stimulus, and for pathological anxiety, When it appears without there being any stimulus that motivates its presentation.

    In this way, before any state of anxiety, our body undergoes a series of changes in its functioning.

    More specifically, our mind is in charge of releasing a greater number of hormones to the body like adrenaline and Noradrenaline .

    These hormones are excitatory substances that increase the heart rate, dilate the breathing systems and activate the response processes Of our brain.

    This explains why when we release these substances in abundance, our body is overexcited, in order to respond properly and be Sufficiently activated.

    If what we are experiencing is a”normal”anxiety, this overexcitation of the body will last a few seconds or minutes, and as soon as the threat The levels of adrenalin And noradrenaline will return to normal and anxiety will disappear.

    However, when in our body and our mind there are very high levels of these substances for a long time, we tire faster, Our attention diminishes, we are unable to sleep and, of course, our state of anxiety increases.

    However, the main difference eradicates the duration, intensity and resilience of experienced anxiety-

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    How To Treat Anxiety

    Even though anxiety is a normal occurrence, it can get out of hand and lead to you experiencing anxiety symptoms that interfere with your daily life. If this happens, then whether you have an anxiety disorder or not, its best to focus on treatment so that these symptoms to cause greater harm down the road.

    Before you get any treatment, however, its important to seek help by alerting a healthcare professional about the situation. You may have a larger problem like a disorder that needs a specific treatment plan from certain therapies and perhaps medication.

    Psychotherapy is a good place to start. Otherwise known as talk therapy, this is a good way to open up about your anxiety to learn more about whats causing it and how to manage it.

    Tackling the root of the issue is a good way to lessen the symptoms you may feel. From there, if you begin experiencing fewer signs of blurry vision, its a strong indicator that your anxiety was the cause of it all.

    If therapy sessions are not improving things for you, then there is a chance that a doctor may prescribe you some medication to help with the symptoms. There are antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications that can alleviate certain health concerns that crop up with stress and anxiety.

    With the more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe beta-blockers, but these do have a chance to cause addiction, so they are not meant as long-term treatment options.

    What Causes Sudden Tunnel Vision

    Tunnel vision can happen when youre feeling anxious. It makes you think that you cant look away from anything, which can be scary. Your eyes eliminate your attention from anything that isnt necessary for solving the problem at hand. Remember, anxiety is an automatic response to perceived threats. Its designed to keep us safe by activating our fight or flight systems. In a dangerous situation, tunnel vision can help you focus on one thing at a time. However, tunnel vision can get in the way when youre not in danger. Your brain figures that if something is causing you stress, you cant spend any time or energy on anything else.

    Several reasons can cause anxiety and tunnel vision. Here is a list of the four most common.

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    Ways To Ease Your Stress

    Since stress is practically a given in our lives, learning how to reduce its effects on our bodies, minds and our eyes is paramount.

    Some of the most basic steps to reduce stress are simple and cost little or nothing.

    Exercising, getting a full eight hours of sleep at night, eating a healthy diet, spending more time outdoors and meditation are great ways to relieve stress, Horn advises.

    Other approaches like deep breathing exercises, stress management training, talk therapy and meditation are recommended to slow the progression of vision loss.

    If these approaches dont work and stress-related vision symptoms persist, see your eye doctor for immediate attention. Detecting and treating problems early can help maintain good vision for the rest of your life, Horn says.

    Page published on Thursday, September 26, 2019

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    Vision Loss: A Psychosomatic Disorder

    What causes blurry vision?

    Others have also suggested psychosomatic components in vision loss, some looking upon it as a consequence, but others as a cause. The available literature is summarized in Table Table22 and some psychosomatic considerations are now discussed. Though the general consensus seems to be that stress is only the consequence of vision loss, numerous studies indicate that stress can be a triggering factor for visual impairment. Though it is unclear if stress alone is a sufficient condition to induce vision loss, it is a least a well-recognized and critical co-factors when other pathological conditions are present, such as arteriosclerosis, inflammation, or, as in the case of FS, an endothelial dysfunction.

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