Mental Health and Eye Health

Mental Health and Eye Health

We all know that leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent the development of eye diseases and slow the onset of naturally occurring, age-related vision impairments. But did you know that mental health also plays a vital role in eye health (and vice versa)?

How is our eye health affect our mental health linked?

Research shows that those suffering from poor vision health are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. In fact, one in four people with vision loss are currently experiencing poor mental health, and younger adults are five times more likely to share this. Although researchers don’t fully understand the correlation between poor mental health and our eye health, there are two current theories. The first is stress. Stress is a significant factor in both the progression of eye conditions and the deterioration of our mental health. As a result, this is likely the link between our eyes and our mind. The second reason researchers believe connects our mental- and vision- health is through neurological links in the brain. Some researchers believe certain mental health conditions have the same neurological roots as that of our eyes. As such, a deterioration in one is linked to a weakening of the other.

Moreover, poor eyesight can adversely affect the mental health of adults and children. In adults, losing your sight can exponentially affect your quality of life. Things you could normally do, such as driving, can be taken away from you. This can lead to depression and anxiety, particularly if you begin feeling like you’ve lost your independence. Additionally, in children, poor eyesight has been linked to social difficulties and loneliness, reduced mobility and the ability to take part in age-appropriate activities with their friends, and an increased dependency on adult caregivers. These factors can lead to depression and anxiety in young children as they can be overcome with a sense of grief and worthlessness.

5 tips to keep both your eyes and your mind healthy.

• Exercise!
Incorporating movement into our daily routine is key to keeping our physique healthy. It lowers the risk of dangerous diseases, including eye diseases, and it boosts your mood and reduces stress levels.
• Eat healthily
We are what we eat, right? We know that carrots, broccoli and spinach are incredibly good for your eyes and maintaining eye health. But did you know that sticking to a diet of healthier foods sets you up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook, and the ability to better manage stress?
• Share your family history with your doctor.
Both eye diseases and mental health issues can be genetic. As a result, we must share our family history with our doctors so they can help us manage the risk and keep an eye out for any symptoms.
• Quit smoking
Smoking has been linked to numerous health issues such as increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. More terrifyingly, those who smoke and have mental health issues are more likely to die five years earlier than those who don’t smoke.
• Manage your chronic diseases
Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, can lead to irreversible eye damage when unmanaged. Not only that, but the development of the disorders can cause mental health to deteriorate.

We understand it can be challenging to manage your mental health when it starts to spiral, especially if it’s due to an underlying health problem. When you feel yourself getting out of control try to calm your mind through practicing mindfulness, learning a new skill, connecting with people, giving back, exercising or seeking help.

Contacting a health care professional for help should never be shrouded with shame. Instead, seek counselling, support groups, doctors, or if you’re mental health issues stem from your eyesight, come into Optical Insight and we can help you out.


Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top