Impact Of Stress On Your Eyes

With April being the national stress month we thought it was the perfect time to write a post about the effects that stress can have on your eyes. Most people are aware of how stress can cause headaches and irritability but not many people realise the impacts chronic stress can have on their eyesight. Below we take a look at some eye symptoms that can result from too much stress and what you can do to help.

Common Stress-Related Eye Issues

Before we get started it’s important to note that the majority of stress-related eye issues are only temporary so if you are experienced prolonged eye problems you should book an eye test at your local opticians.

  1. Tunnel Vision
  2. Blurry Vision
  3. Over Sensitivity To Light
  4. Eye Strain
  5. Eye Twitching
  6. Eye Floaters

The above issues are usually nothing to worry about and once your stress levels decrease you will notice the symptoms disappear. However, if you are experiencing any of the above for a prolonged period of time you should seek the advice of a professional just to be on the safe side.

What Causes Eye Related Stress Problems? 

To understand this we first need to understand what happens when we are stressed. When you feel stressed your body releases 3 main hormones into your body called Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine. Adrenaline and Norepinephrine are very similar in the effects they have on the body in which they essentially increase the heart rate and provide a large surge in energy. Cortisol, the main stress hormone, works with your brain and affects your mood, motivation and fear. These ‘fight or flight’ hormones have helped to protect us as a species by helping us to gear up for either fighting or running away from potential danger. However modern world, non-physical problems, such as having a large work project to complete in a small amount of time, will still trigger the same response which isn’t very helpful and is actually counterproductive.

When you are in this ‘fight or flight’ mode your eyes will dilate which is a natural response to let more light in, allowing you to better see any potential threats. However, if you are stressed over a long period of time the prolonged dilation makes you sensitive to light and can cause eye strain. In addition, when you are stressed you are usually very tense which causes the muscles around your eyes to tighten,  bringing on twitching and soreness.

Dealing With Stress

If you think that your eye-related issues are stress-related then there are a few things you can try in order to relax and bring your stress levels down to a minimum.


This doesn’t have to be a heavy session in the gym. Go for a walk or a run in your local area. When you exercise your body releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers, also exercise has the added benefit of creating a general feeling of well-being.

Take A Step Back

Try to take a break and remove yourself from the stressful situation. It’s amazing how different you can feel once you are away from whatever is causing your stress and help you to gain a new perspective.

Talk To Someone

Depending on the severity of the situation talking to a family member, close friend or professional can help. Maybe they have experienced similar situations in the past and can help to solve the problem causing your stress.


Often one which is overlooked, meditation has been proven to help the mind and body relax and focus.

Do Something You love

It’s important to find some time to wind down and do something you love. This could be your favourite hobby or just visiting a favourite location.