Migraines, stress and your vision

We all know stress can be bad for our health – but have you ever stopped to think about how it affects your vision?

This article was prompted after our lead optometrist, Sue, saw a lady in her consulting room who had been experiencing visual disturbances and severe headaches.

Despite a thorough examination, Sue couldn’t find any reason why the lady was suffering so much.

However – because we always allow an hour for your eye examination appointment, Sue had plenty of time to chat with the lady about what else could be causing the problem. It turns out that our patient had been under a lot of stress for a prolonged period of time – and it was affecting her vision!

Sue explained how migraines and visual disturbances can be caused or made worse by stress.

In this blog post, we explore how migraines and other vision problems can be linked to stress – and what you can do about it.

What is a migraine?

Migraines are a type of headache that can cause severe pain, nausea, and vomiting. They’re often accompanied by visual disturbances like flashing lights or blind spots.

Migraines can be caused by stress – but they can also be a reaction to stress. If you’re migrainous, you might find that your migraines are triggered by certain stressful situations.

Why does stress cause migraines?

There are a few theories:

One theory is that migraines are caused by the release of certain chemicals in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine. When we’re stressed, our bodies release more of these chemicals, in turn triggering a migraine.

Another theory is that migraines are caused by changes in the brainstem or trigeminal nerve. The brainstem is the part of the brain that controls pain signals.

Migraines may also be caused by changes in blood flow to the brain. When we’re stressed, our blood vessels constrict and this can cause migraines.

Can spectacles help with migraines?

In some cases, yes.

If your migraines are caused by changes in blood flow to the brain, wearing spectacles can help.

This is because they help to constrict the blood vessels in your eyes, which in turn reduces migraines.

However, if you think your migraines might be stress-related, you really need to look at the underlying reasons for your stress and address them.

Other ways stress can affect our vision

Stress can cause us to grind our teeth, which can lead to migraines and tension headaches.

It can also lead to dry eyes, as well as making us more susceptible to infections.

So, if you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to take some time out for yourself and relax.

What to do if stress is affecting your vision

If you think stress might be affecting your migraines or vision, there are a few things you can do:

  • Try to identify your triggers and avoid them if possible.
  • If you can’t avoid your triggers, try to manage your stress levels in other ways.
  • Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
  • Of course, you should also consult your optician and your GP to be certain there are no underlying conditions that need treatment.

In need of further advice about managing headaches and visual disturbances?

If you’d like to speak to someone about migraines, visual disturbances or any other vision-related problems, our team at Optomeyes Eyecare are here to help.

Get in touch today to book an appointment with one of our experienced optometrists.

Call 02392 550723 for Lee-On-The-Solent or 01329 832706 for Wickham.

Alternatively email lee@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk or wickham@optomeyes-eyecare.co.uk and one of the team will call you back to book your appointment.