Skip to main content

Eye Conditions Due to Stress

Stress affects all of us in different ways. Some people may constantly feel the need to have comfort foods while others may feel tired and exhausted all the time despite little or no exertion. Stress also has an impact on different parts of your body such as your stomach, muscles and even your eyes. In this article, we will look at some of the most common stress-induced eye conditions and what you can do to combat it.

Common Stress-Related Eye Problems


Twitches are painless sensations but if the frequency increases, it can be bothersome. This condition is known as myokymia. And refers to your eyelid moving uncontrollably. Though it may seem like quite a lot of movement to you, it is usually minor and cannot be noticed by people around you. The condition usually affects the lower eyelid of an individual and develops when you’re stressed. Other factors that may be associated with the condition are increased caffeine intake, eye strain as a result of screen exposure, excessive squinting, etc.

Eye Twitching is a sign that you are more anxious than necessary and it has started affecting you physically. If you are experiencing it, you need to sit back and relax. You also need to check if stress is causing you sleeplessness. Lack of sleep can exacerbate the condition and make the twitching worse

There are several ways that eye-twitching triggered by stress can be treated. Firstly, you need to work on the conditions causing you to stress and have a healthy outlook on dealing with your problems. If the condition continues, you can apply warm compresses over the affected eye and relieve it from twitch.

The condition is usually temporary and should subside in a few days. If the twitching persists, it could be a sign of a genetic disorder and should be checked and addressed by a competent eye doctor.

Dry Eyes

Our bodies have a wonderful way of protecting us from injuries. Similarly, when your stress level increases and your anxiety shoots up, the blood in your body thickens to shield you from possible harm

Dry Eyes is one of the most commonly occurring eye disorders with an extremely high prevalence in the middle-aged and elderly population. The symptoms of dry eye include fatigued eyes, itching, eye infections, redness, irritation, and burning. A fluctuating vision is also one of the major indications that you are suffering from a dry eye.

Dry eyes can be a byproduct of old age, menopause, medication such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, stress is one of the most common causes for it. Stress can either be visual or psychological and over the years it has been noticed that people suffering from depression or those who have family problems are more prone to encounter this ophthalmic condition.

The good news is that the condition is temporary and will only last a few weeks if not days. People experiencing the condition should rest their eyes, and not worry about any lasting effects from it. The lack of lubrication in your eye can be rectified with the help of eye drops. As a common and chronic problem, it can happen when the balance between the tear production and drainage is messed up.

Tear production reduces as you age but if you experience the lack of it at an early age, it can be attributed to either your environment or stress. Tears produced by your eye are made of water, oil, and mucus which keep the natural moisture of your eye in check and nourish the surface of your eye. The oil in the tear is responsible for preventing evaporation of water from the eye while the mucus functions as a layer that helps spread the tear evenly across the eye. If the tears dissipate quickly and are not spread evenly across the surface of your eye, you can develop dry eye.

People who have this condition feel irritation and scratchiness in the eye. They may also feel like there is a presence of something extra in the eye and have blurred vision as a result of it. If dry eyes persist, it can lead to long-term damage such as impaired vision and damage to the surface of the eye.

Blurred Vision

Another indicator of stress is blurred vision. Although the condition is not that severe when it is caused by stress, it is disruptive and affects the quality of your vision. When you’re stressed or anxious, your pupils tend to dilate since your body acts similarly to when it is faced with a dangerous situation. The dilation of the pupil lets more light enter the eye, however the focus of the vision decreases which causes blurriness. Your body’s nervous system becomes active during a period of tension and it reacts by releasing adrenaline, which in turn, elicits a series of physiological changes such as sweating, increased heartbeat, a rush of blood to the head and muscles and of course, pupil dilation.

Apart from pupil dilation, there is also hyperventilation that can lead to blurred vision. When your stress levels heighten, you will find yourself breathing hard. As you breathe in excessive air and breathe out just as much excessive carbon dioxide, the body loses its balance and as a result, gives you a blurry vision.

Those who experience blurry vision can become even more stressed and hence become predisposed to have panic or anxiety attacks.


Our lives have become increasingly fast-paced and with the pressure that comes with living such lives, we need to keep our stress levels in check. Some basic steps can help you regulate yourself and requires little effort and considerable mindfulness. You should allocate time to exercise every day and make sure that you get adequate sleep of 8 hours consistently. Spending time outdoors and breaking the cycle of work through meditation and little breaks is another way you can combat stress. Last but not the least, your diet should be balanced and healthy.

If your eye condition does not improve even after taking all the necessary steps mentioned, see a doctor and let them intervene to help you maintain a healthy vision.