Stress levels have been at all-time highs for so many people throughout the past year. Job worries, money concerns, remote learning and more can cause anxiety levels to increase – and that’s not good for anyone. Aside from the possible effects on your heart and blood vessels, muscles, intestines and nervous system, stress can also have an impact on your vision.
How Stress and Vision are Related
Did you know that your eyes and vision are an extension of your brain? There are six muscles connected to each eye, and they receive signals from the brain. These signals direct the eyes movements and, thus, control their ability to focus. When you are stressed, your brain goes through a number of changes and signals some of your body’s glands to release hormones in an attempt to deal with the stressor. With the brain undergoing all of these alterations, the eyes may become impacted as a result of their connection.
Possible Vision Effects
When you experience a stressful moment, adrenaline is pumped through the body at great speeds. This causes the pupils to dilate, which increases the amount of light that enters the eyes. If too much light enters during a moment of anxiety, or if you go through repeated stressful moments and light penetrates the eyes, the following can occur:
- Light sensitivity
- Eye aches and strain
- Eye twitching
- Eye floaters
- Tunnel vision
- Double vision
- Very dry or very wet eyes
Most stress-related eye issues are minor and temporary. If you find yourself experiencing any of the above issues, try the following:
Closing your eyes
Taking deep breaths and/or meditating
Finding a distraction to take your mind off what is bothering you
Exercising (such as walking or running)
Writing in a journal
Don’t Delay Treatment
Long-term stress or anxiety can actually cause serious strain on your eyes, so it is important to see us if these issues do not resolve themselves quickly. A comprehensive vision exam can help us discover the true cause of the vision problems, as well as allow us to determine the best form of treatment. Additionally, if stress-reduction therapies are necessary, we can work with your medical doctor or other healthcare providers to find the right overall solutions.
At Family Vision Development Center, we take a one-on-one approach to vision care that focuses on whole body wellness that extends beyond the eyes. We are dedicated to providing safe, personalized care to members of the whole family in a welcoming environment. Contact us at 630-862-2020 for all of your eye care needs.
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When a child has vision problems, it can affect many areas of their daily life, including their learning ability. And it may not be as evident as blurred vision. In fact, a child could have perfectly clear eyesight, but still have vision issues that can prevent them from achieving success in school.
Types of Vision Problems
There are several types of vision problems, all of which can affect your child’s ability to read, write and succeed in the classroom in different ways. The following are some common vision problems in children that may interfere with learning ability.
Children with a refractive error have an irregularly shaped cornea that does not bend light properly. This can cause blurred vision, difficulty reading things up close or a crossing of the eyes. If your child holds a book very close to their eyes or squints when trying to read or see the front of the classroom, they may be suffering from a refractive vision problem.
- Functional Vision Problems
These refer to problems affecting the way that the eyes and brain work together. This can lead to problems in eye teaming (binocularity), accommodation (i.e., the ability of the eye to focus on an object at different distances), hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision or fine eye movements. A child with a functional vision problem may experience double vision, transposing letters, confusing similar words, difficulty with reading, spelling and math, and poor performance in sports.
- Perceptual Vision Problems
Perceptual vision problems are characterized by difficulty understanding and identifying what one sees. A child with poor visual perception may have 20/20 vision, but might have trouble distinguishing between two similar letters (such as u and n), putting a puzzle together or finding a pair of matching socks in a drawer. Other signs of a visual perception disorder could include skipping words or lines when reading, memorization trouble, or understanding a map.
Vision Therapy is an Effective Solution for Kids
One proven treatment for kids with visual concerns like those listed above is vision therapy. This customized treatment plan consists of specialized eye exercises that work to retrain the eyes and brain in order to correct or restore visual ability. At Family Vision Development Center, our providers are trained in a variety of advanced vision therapy techniques, so we can create a program that targets your child’s individual vision issues.
While parents may be quick to assume that their child’s learning ability is determined by their study habits, or even genetics, they may not even think to look at their vision. A comprehensive eye exam at Family Vision Development Center can uncover any vision conditions or disorders that can lead to poor performance in school. Early detection often provides more opportunity for treatment options, so it is recommended that kids get yearly vision exams to quickly discover any signs of a problem. Contact us today at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment.