Stress – A Strain on Your Eyesight

Stress – A Strain on Your Eyesight

If you’re suffering from Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the best thing you can do for yourself may be to relax and de-stress. Recent studies conducted by the Ohio State University Department of Ophthalmology suggest that stress may be a contributing factor to worsening vision in patients with AMD. The study used a scale, called the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), to evaluate perceived stress in conjunction with its patients’ progression of vision loss. Stress can lead to inflammation, and that inflammation is a contributing factor to macular degeneration. This link is being explored by Ph.D.’s at Ohio State University, in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of, “how general well-being influences diseases outcomes”.

It may seem like a catch-22, as being diagnosed with AMD can cause stress itself. Many adults who are diagnosed with AMD face an uncertain future. Continued progression of vision loss can result in lost jobs and driver’s licenses, resulting ultimately in a loss of independence. For many, this thought naturally leads to fear, anxiety and stress. Fortunately, institutions like Ohio State University and Chicago Lighthouse have picked up on this connection, and are looking for ways to not only investigate the link between stress and progression of AMD, but to help ease the stress of those who have been diagnosed with it. The Chicago Lighthouse is just one example of a low vision center who has expanded their care to include psychological services that help sufferers of low vision to find better ways to cope and handle stress, with the hopes of slowing down the progression of AMD.

Key Points:

  • 1It is a relief to know that we can actually help to prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration by learning to manage our levels of stress.
  • 2People who have been diagnosed with Age-Related Macular Degeneration need to find ways to cope with their loss of vision so that further stress does not compound the illness.
  • 3Maintaining a stress-free lifestyle is imperative to overall general health and our vision is likely to benefit as much as our minds.

Learning to recognize stress and how to manage or minimize it may in fact be another way of helping your vision.

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