Posted on Jul 10, 2023, 2 p.m.
It can be difficult to accept vision loss or other eye-related ailments because our sight is one of the most important senses. Your eyes help you to connect with people, do your work, and watch the movies you love. Because of that, when vision loss occurs, it’s easy to fall into despair or face other mental health issues.
Today, we’ll discuss the connection between vision loss and mental health and how to do what’s right for your vision and mental well-being.
Types of Vision Loss
Various types of vision loss can come into your life over time. Even while you’re young, it’s possible to experience common vision ailments like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It’s even possible that you’ve had glasses at a young age so you could see the chalkboard, and over time, your vision continued to decline.
Many vision issues can occur, especially as you get older. One of the most common vision issues that older people may experience is cataracts, which is a clouding of the eye that can eventually lead to double vision, halos around lights, and other issues. The cause of cataracts is often due to prolonged exposure to the UV rays from the sun over time. Some of the risk factors for cataracts include smoking or diabetes.
As the population ages, vision care will continue to be a main talking point and a costly endeavor as doctors continue to look for ways to help people avoid the common vision issues plaguing society. There are innovations all the time, like the potential benefit of stem cells. In the meantime, you can make smart choices to reduce your risk. Methods of maintaining eye health include consuming a healthy diet, wearing protective eyewear while outside, and visiting your optometrist once per year. Vision issues not only inhibit your ability to see, but they could also be a sign of other health issues, including vascular conditions, so it’s important to make eye health a top priority.
Connection Between Vision Loss And Mental Health
It’s hard to deal with vision loss. For starters, you realize that your body isn’t as healthy as it used to be. Plus, it’s much harder to do the essential things in life that we all take for granted, such as walking down stairs or reading the books you love. When life becomes much harder, it’s only natural that you would feel extra stress and anxiety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there’s a link between depression and vision loss. They found that one in four adults with vision loss also dealt with some level of depression.
If you’re experiencing mental health issues now, it could affect your vision. For instance, people who have bipolar or schizophrenia are often more likely to experience glaucoma. Studies are also showing that excessive stress can also become a cause of vision loss.
While it’s not unusual to think of older folks when thinking about vision issues, younger people may have the most difficult time coming to terms with their vision loss as well. That can be the case because they’ve yet to develop the proper coping and self-management skills to try and put their minds at ease.
Prioritizing Mental Health
If you currently have vision loss and it’s starting to cause you to worry, you must take the proper steps to put your mental health at the forefront. Start by getting your concerns out of your system, such as by speaking to a counselor or therapist, or by writing out your feelings in a journal.
If you’re ever feeling particularly stressed, sit down, take a deep breath, and try to regain your calm. You can use breathing exercises to relax your entire body from head to toe. Try the 4-7-1 method.
- Take a deep breath for four seconds.
- Hold your breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale slowly for eight seconds.
If you know someone battling vision loss, and you want to help them, then you need to watch for the red flags of poor mental health. These warning signs can include that they have recently begun to avoid you and other family members and have been canceling social events. Another red flag could be that they’ve stopped eating like they used to or are no longer practicing basic self-care, such as grooming. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, reach out, express that you’re there for them, and find the resources they need so they can get back to a happier place.
The connection between vision loss and mental health is a growing concern that could affect you or your family. Work on your mental health and help others now, and you’ll have a better chance of staying in a good.
This article was written for WHN by Charlie Fletcher who is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and her search for the truth. You can find more of her writing on her Contently
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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