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Pandemic Stress Can Change Your Eyesight

How have the last few months been for you?

Regardless of the positives in your life you’re probably baseline stressed.

It’s normal to feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed or even scared right now. Colorado is experiencing both a pandemic and a civil rights movement alongside the compounding challenges of reopening schools, a high unemployment rate, and smoke from wildfires keeping many people inside… oh yes and we’re in the midst of an election season.

It’s fair to say that Coloradans are carrying more stress with them on a consistent basis, but what is it doing to our bodies?

We’ve all had that moment where we get some bad news and we can feel the stress take over our bodies. This is called fight, flight or freeze and it’s where your body moves into protection mode.  Initially, your heart may pump faster as adrenaline moves through the body, your breathing becomes shallow, and your pupils dilate enhancing your ability to see danger. Your body is preparing for a physical threat even if the stress is from a non-physical threat like a difficult project at work or a spat with a friend.

You may experience mild stress, or you may experience high stress. The eyes also experience a range of impact due to stress from mild discomfort to debilitating vision loss. It’s more likely that your eye’s response to stress will be minor, but if any of these symptoms are impacting your quality of life or the symptoms persist contact your optometrist immediately.