Chennai: Chronic stress not only affects mental health of an individual but can impact vision also, reveals a recent study conducted at the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg in Germany.
The study findings state that constant level of stress can cause disruptions in the bodily functions that are consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes. The involuntary bodily functions are controlled by autonomic nervous system, which affects brain and eyes of an individual.
The constant level of stress can have harmful affects on eye and brain increasing the cortisol levels in the body due to imbalance of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic) and vascular deregulation. The research findings say that an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eyes due to stress and inflammation of the eyes usually occurs due to continuous stress. Psychological stress can in this way lead to glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, say medicos.
Dr K K Aggarwal, president, Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) said that the response by the body of an individual is self-controlled. “Under threat or stress, the body's hormone levels increase and return to normal once the perceived threat has passed. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, the heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities. However, in the presence of constant stress and stressors, the person may feel under constant attack and the body's fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on,” he said.
A prolonged activation of stress hormones along with overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones - can increase the risk of various physical and mental health disorders for an individual. While psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, concentration loss and insomnia can occur, digestive problems, heart diseases and weight gain can also be a result of prolonged stress apart from vision issues.
Medicos emphasize on stress management to minimize the affects on eye and brain due to continuous stress and emphasize on cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine to reduce the harmful affects. Doctors also say that regular exercise; adequate intake of drinking water and regular sleep of around 7-8 hours is necessary to cope up with the impacts of stress....