Mental State: You may not realise it, but your eye health is an extension of your brain health. Having poor eye health is associated with a negative mental condition.
The reverse is true: a negative mental state can affect your eyesight. For example, studies have found a connection between your retina and dementia.
Patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease showed a thinner retinal nerve fiber — a physical manifestation of your mentality.
Below, we’ll look deeper at how your eyesight can affect your mental state and what you can do to protect your vision:
Your Eyesight And Mental State
Vision loss is mainly associated with advanced age. However, research shows that while vision loss can cause stress, stress can worsen vision loss.
Studies have found that individuals with vision loss are at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety, loneliness, social isolation, and feelings of worry and fear.
This is because adjusting to living with impaired vision can be challenging for most people, as we typically need it for trivial activities such as reading, taking a walk, or even cooking and cleaning.
A 2022 study found that one in four adults with vision loss reported experiencing mental health concerns as well.
As mentioned, stress is connected to blurry vision, strain, twitching, and dry eyes. As stress is a common experience for most people, you must recognize the symptoms of stress to manage it better before it affects your vision.
Protecting your eyesight and mental state can help keep both in optimal condition.
Vision Care Tips
Taking care of your eye health should be routine, but some people overlook this and only do so when it may be too late. Below, we’ll look at some vision care tips so you can better protect your eyesight:
Use Appropriate Eyewear
Your first line of protection against any vision issues is appropriate eyewear. Prescription glasses help you see better if you are near- or farsighted, while sunglasses help protect your eyes from harmful sunlight.
As such, polarized sunglasses should be worn when possible; they help block glare for improved clarity and contrast while providing additional UVA and UVB protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays.
Leading eyewear brand Oakley offers high-quality anti-reflective and anti-scratch lenses with advanced light protection — including blue-violet light filtering if you spend long periods viewing digital screens — for their classic frames like the Holbrook.
If you’re physically active or are routinely involved in a sport, you may find glasses or sunglasses a hassle to keep on. In that case, you can opt for contact lenses.
With advancements in technology, you can even get blue-light blocking contacts that can filter 60% of blue-violet light and reduce light scatter.
Johnson & Johnson’s Acuvue Oasys Max contacts were recently released to help people combat eye conditions related to screen time, such as screen fatigue and eye dryness.
Meditate to Boost Awareness
Finally, studies have found that mindful meditation significantly improved ocular and general health among patients with glaucoma.
Research tells us that because chronic stress leads to an elevation of blood pressure, it can impact the muscles around your eyes. To help combat this, relaxation programs like meditation can lower stress hormones such as cortisol to boost your eye health. Meditation can also increase blood flow to your eyes, bringing them the necessary oxygen and nutrients to function correctly.
Of course, meditating consistently is a crucial way to increase your overall awareness. By practicing mindful meditation and letting your mind relax, you create an increased clarity of your health and body, allowing you to monitor changes and differences in your health, be it your vision or mental state.
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