Can Stress Cause High Eye Pressure?

Glaucoma

Stress can potentially cause a temporary increase in eye pressure, but it is not typically a significant or long-term cause of high eye pressure or glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions characterized by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) that can lead to damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision. The most common form of glaucoma, called primary open-angle glaucoma, typically develops slowly over time and is not directly linked to stress.

However, short-term stress or anxiety can lead to a condition known as episodic high eye pressure or acute angle-closure glaucoma in individuals who are predisposed to it. This can occur when stress triggers the dilation of the pupils and narrows the drainage angle in the eye, causing a sudden increase in eye pressure. This situation is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention to prevent damage to the optic nerve and potential vision loss.

It’s important to understand that while stress can contribute to episodic high eye pressure, it is not a common cause of chronic, long-term elevated eye pressure or glaucoma. Chronic high eye pressure is more often associated with other factors, including genetics, age, and other underlying medical conditions.

If you have concerns about your eye health or are experiencing symptoms related to your vision or eye pressure, it’s essential to consult with an eye care specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, for a proper evaluation and diagnosis. Regular eye examinations are also crucial for the early detection and management of eye conditions, including glaucoma.

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