Vision issues can negatively impact both physical well-being and mental health. In turn, many psychiatric conditions and medications can increase the odds of vision-related issues.

Blindness can be even more impactful, leading to severe depression, PTSD, and phobias. Treatments, including corrective lenses, medications, and eye surgeries, can improve vision issues and mental health concerns simultaneously. Cataract and LASIK surgeries can enhance your physical and mental state and overall quality of life. More than 2 billion people in the world have either distance or near vision impairment. But worsening vision impairment and blindness are often treatable conditions.

This image shows a close up view of a woman's eyes. She is looking confidentially into the distance. One eye is blurred, suggesting trouble with her vision.

Vision Issues Can Have an Impact on Your Mental Health

Struggling to see clearly can make everyday life harder. Reading, watching TV, recognizing faces, and daily life tasks can all be more difficult with vision issues. These difficulties can lead to depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal. Depression: Vision loss can double your risk for struggling with depression. When it is hard to see and complete everyday life tasks as expected, it’s common to get frustrated, upset, disoriented, and sad. Less than 20 percent of people who are visually impaired are offered the necessary emotional support for their condition. As a result, elevated stress and depression are common.

In turn, depression can also increase the odds for worsening vision impairment and vision loss, as people who are depressed are less likely to seek medical care for physical health conditions, many of which can impact vision. They are also less inclined to modify their lifestyle to stall the progression of vision issues. Healthy lifestyle choices that can do so include quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol consumption. Anxiety: Vision loss can increase the risk for anxiety, loneliness, and unintentional injuries. It can be easy to panic about not being able to do the things you are used to being able to do.

Vision issues can make it harder to recognize faces, order at a restaurant, drive, and do other everyday things. This can lead to panic about going out or even daily life tasks. Stress is a known risk factor and contributing cause for vision issues, such as glaucoma and optic neuropathy, which can lead to vision loss. Stress can impact chemicals in the body that can create a dysregulation in the vascular and sympathetic nervous system, which negatively impacts the eyes.

Social withdrawal: Vision issues can make it harder to get around. They limit your ability to get yourself places by driving. They can make you less likely to want to leave your house due to feelings of anxiety, depression, embarrassment, and inadequacy. In this way, vision loss and impairment can also lead to social isolation and withdrawal.

Medications: Vision issues can be caused or compounded by treatment for anxiety and depression disorders. Many of the prescribed medications can cause mydriasis (dilation of the pupil), blurred vision, difficulties with color perception, and a higher risk for diabetes, which can lead to vision issues and loss.

Tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which are prescribed to treat mental health and psychiatric conditions, can all unintentionally negatively impact vision. This can lead to additional mental health concerns.

Looking after your eyesight is just as important as looking after yourself mentally and emotionally.

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If you, or someone close to you, has struggled with a vision impairment and would like to support, get in touch today for a free initial consultation.