April is Stress Awareness Month

Stress from the Outside In

Influences from outside of your body (like the environment) can “stress” the eyes in many ways without you realizing it. You can wear goggles or sunglasses but you can’t always control what outside environmental factors may be doing to your body.

Man rubbing eyes

Outside factors that can affect or “stress” your eyes:

  • Smoke (tobacco as well as cooking fire/bonfire) can intensify the development of cataracts.
  • Extreme temperatures (lengthy and ongoing exposure) can contribute to Dry Eye Syndrome.
  • Some medications can cause cataracts to develop more quickly or intraocular pressure to rise.

You may have more control over the environment you create in your daily life. For example, chemicals like bleach or cleaning solutions can have fumes that irritate or “stress” your corneas (clear outer surface of the eye). Just remember next time you’re working with paint or chemicals that require you to wear a mask, it’s a good idea for you to wear eye protection as well.

Stress from the Inside Out

How’s your stress level? The chemicals released into our bodies when we are full of anxiety or adrenaline can wreak havoc with our bodies in many ways, depending upon how long the stressors are present.

woman leaning against wall hand on head eyes closed

If you are stressed (feeling emotional pressure like anxiety, fear, etc.) you may experience:

  • Visual disturbances (like tunnel vision or blurry vision)
  • Eye strain (tired, red, watery eyes)

If your body is stressed with poor nutrition or poor health in some other way, you may experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Blind spots in vision
  • Loss of vision

Take care of your eyes by learning to manage your stress and getting regular check-ups. Make sure that you wear eye protection (sunglasses, goggles, safety glasses) when needed. If you’re concerned about your nutrition, talk to your doctor about adjusting your diet or taking vitamin supplements. If you experience any of the above listed symptoms, don’t stress out! Just call us for an eye exam at 414-271-2020.

Written by Jenny I., Surgical Coordinator at Milwaukee Eye Care