Month: April 2023


Stress is a big factor in our society today. So many outside stressors can cause a lot of damage to your health. Did you know that in addition to your overall health, constant stress can also cause issues for your eyes?

Types of Stress

There are two main types of stress.

Acute Stress – This type of stress is short term and can go away quickly. It helps you to manage dangerous situations, like when you slam on your breaks or ski down a steep slope. This type of stress can also occur when you do something exciting or new. Everyone encounters this type of stress at some point in their lives.

Chronic Stress – Chronic stress lasts for a longer period of time. Chronic stress can be caused by finances, work or relationships. This kind of stress can last weeks or months. This is the kind of stress that can cause long term health problems.

What Stress Can Do To Your Eyes

If you have chronic stressors in your life but you are not doing anything to manage that stress you may see many health problems start to show up. Some health issues linked to chronic stress are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Skin problems

Of course, vision problems are on the list as well. One of the biggest links from stress to vison is the stress hormone cortisone. This hormone is gradually released by the body as a reaction to stress. It can increase your heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and muscle tension. Cortisol also helps to regulate the digestive and reproductive systems during a stress crisis.

If you are experiencing chronic anxious moments it can result in a dangerous increase in cortisol levels. When cortisol levels will disrupt the blood flow from the eye to the brain which can cause vision problems.

The majority of stress related vision problems are usually temporary but if you have a consistent issue it could be related to stress. Some stress related vision issues are:

  • Light Sensitivity
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Eye Twitching
  • Extremely dry or wet eyes
  • Blurry Vision
  • Eye Strain
  • Eye Floaters
  • Double Vision
  • Vision Distortions

Ways to Manage Stress

If you feel like you could be experiencing some of the above issues and think it could be related to chronic stress here are some tips to help you learn to manage your stress.

  • Take breaks from the news and social media – disconnecting from screens and traumatic news stories can help lower your stress levels.
  • Take care of yourself – eat healthy, get regular exercise and make sure to get enough sleep.
  • Schedule time to unwind – make sure to make time for activities you really enjoy.
  • Talk to your family and friends – it can help to get your troubles off your chest. Talk to someone you trust about what you’re feeling.
  • Connect with your community – having a good support system around you can help you to make the time to relieve stress.

We are always thinking of ways to give our patients the knowledge they need in order to take care of themselves. If you have any vision issues that you are concerned about make an appointment with us!


Since this week was tax due date week, we thought it would be great time to focus on Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. These type of accounts can be offered by your employer and can be used on vision expenses throughout the year.

What is the difference between an HSA and FSA?

HSA – Health Savings Account

  • You or your employer contribute pre tax dollars
  • Unused contributions roll over year after year
  • HSAs must accompany a high deductible health plan (individual or through employer
  • Withdrawals are allowed with 10% penalty
  • HSAs have higher contribution maximum than FSAs

FSA – Flexible Spending Account

  • Typically FSA funds must be used by the end of the plan or calendar year
  • Account cannot be used after you leave the employer
  • FSAs must accompany group insurance through employer
  • Withdrawals are not allowed

What Can you use your HSA or FSA funds on?

Your vision insurance is probably going to cover on set of glasses or give you an allowance on what you can spend. If you contribute to a FSA or HSA you can use those funds to purchase the more expensive frames you want, or more than one pair of glasses to switch out your frames form time to time. In general you can use your funds for:

  • Reading glasses
  • Progressives
  • Prescription blue light glasses
  • Prescription anti-fatigue glasses
  • Prescription glasses
  • Prescription sunglasses

You can also choose to use your funds on contacts if they are medically necessary!

There are other things you can use the funds on as well aside form hardware. Other approved expenses would be eye exams, LASIK, copays and deductibles, eyeglass cleaning supplies and eye drops! It is important to check with your individual FSA or HSA provider to make sure anything that might fall into a grey area is covered.

What is NOT Eligible?

While there are so many things you can use these funds on there are still some things you shouldn’t use it on.

  • Non-prescription glasses
  • Non-prescription sunglasses
  • Non-prescription contacts
  • Insurance premiums

How to use your funds

This is going to depend on your specific plan. Some proivders will send you a debit card that you can use on the approved expenses. Other plans will require you to pay out of pocket but get reimbursed so it is important to hang on to receipts.

Bottom Line

FSA and HSA accounts can be a great way for you to set aside pre-taxed funds to spend on health expenses throughout the year. When enrolling in your employers benefits, make sure to take a look at the average expenses your family has each year to determine how much to contribute to your plan. Make sure to make the most of the benefits your employer offers!