We often talk about the different symptoms of anxiety, from rapid heartbeat to sweating to tension and more. But anxiety affects your entire body, inside and out, and the longer you live with anxiety, the more you might start to notice more unusual symptoms that do not always fall under what we typically think about with mental health, but are still directly related to how you feel.
That is especially true of symptoms of the eye. Anxiety is known to cause a variety of eye problems. Both short term anxiety attacks and long term anxiety can lead to challenges related to sight, pain, and more. It’s not uncommon for the symptoms to appear even when you do not feel like you are struggling with anxiety in the moment.
How Does Anxiety Affect the Eyes?
Our eyes are surprisingly sensitive to change. Some of the effects of anxiety have a direct impact on the eyes through neurotransmitter changes in the brain. Others are related to the ways that anxiety affects the muscles surrounding the eyes. At any time, both during anxiety attacks and others, you may see eye symptoms of anxiety that include, but are not limited to:
- Eye Pain – Your eyes themselves may feel pain for many reasons. Lack of sleep can cause your eyes to ache and hurt. During anxiety attacks, your pupils dilate, which may cause them to experience sharp pains if they take in more light than they need. Migraines, which can be triggered by stress/anxiety, can also lead to eye pain.
- Headaches Around the Eye – Sometimes, it’s not the eye itself that hurts, but a soreness near or surrounding the eye. This can be caused by muscle tension, as any causes the muscles around the eye to contract. It can also be caused by a lack of sleep, which is especially common for those with anxiety.
- Vision Problems – Anxiety doesn’t just cause pain. It can also lead to vision problems. These may include tunnel vision (which are common during anxiety attacks), blurry vision, twinkling in your vision, and a sensitivity to light. Vision issues can also lead to further eye pain, as your eyes may not know how to adjust to them, causing you to squint or experience eye strain.
Eye pain and discomfort are typically not the most problematic of anxiety symptoms, which is why not everyone even realizes it may be related to anxiety at all. But it’s important to realize that long-term stress and anxiety can touch almost every single part of your body, inside and out, and some of the strange or uncomfortable issues that you may be experiencing with your eyes, or with some other part of your body, may be directly related to the stress of living with long term anxiety.
Reduce Anxiety, Reduce Symptoms
Rarely is any symptom related to anxiety permanent. If you’re able to control your anxiety and stress, you should also be able to reduce your eye pain, eye headaches, and other issues that are related to that anxiety. Talk to Flourish Psychology today for anxiety treatment in NY, with services for anyone in the entire state.