A new study has found that psychological stress can also cause vision loss.
“There is a clear evidence of a psychosomatic component to vision loss resulting from diseases such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration,” said Bernhard Sabel, the lead author of the study.
Sabel explained that both the eye and the brain are involved in vision loss. “Continuous stress and elevated cortisol levels negatively impact the eye and brain due to autonomic nervous system imbalance and vascular deregulation.”
Dr Muneed Faiq, a co-investigator on the study said, “The behaviour and words of the treating physician can have far-reaching consequences for the prognosis of vision loss. Many patients are told that the prognosis is poor and that they should be prepared to become blind one day. Even when this is far from certainty and full blindness almost never occurs, the ensuing fear and anxiety are a neurological and psychological double-burden with psychological consequences that often worsen the disease condition.”
Some other consequences of stress that could cause damage are endothelial dysfunction and inflammation. Doctors recommend that stress can be reduced through mediation, stress management training and psychotherapy—this will help a person cope and possibly as preventive measures to reduce progression of vision loss.
The findings were published in the EPMA Journal.
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