May is mental health awareness month. We wanted to shed some light on how vision loss can affect your Mental Health and then offer tips to cope with major vision impairment or loss.

There has been a close link found between eye health and mental health. It is more likely that someone who has vision loss or impairment will suffer from mental health issues. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults with vision loss report experiencing anxiety and depression.

Which Vision Problems Impact Mental Health the Most?

Any vision problem that leads to or results in vision loss are most likely to cause mental health issues. These vision problems can include:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinitis pigmentosa

Three of those four problems are some of the most common in the US.

Mental Health Disorders that Impact Eye Health

While vision problems can cause mental health decline, mental health disorders can also impact eye health. People who suffer from a mental health condition are more likely to develop vision issues.

Its not known yet what the link is between mental illness and vision issues but there are some theories:

  • Stress is a big factor in the development of eye conditions so depending on what mental health disorder someone suffers from, the stress from it could play a part in deteriorating eye health
  • There are also some researchers who think that there re neurological roots shared between certain mental health issues and vision issues.

How to Cope with Vision Issues

There are a few ways to cope with vision loss that can help to improve your mental health. If you are suffering from vision loss or severe vision impairment make sure you try to learn as much as you can about your condition. It can also be helpful to meet with a counselor who can help you navigate the feelings your experiencing. Lastly make sure you are utilizing any assistance devices that can help you maintain your quality of life.(ie. text to speech software, hand magnifiers, smartwatches with speech capabilities).

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope we have made it clear how important your mental health can be. It can affect all aspects of your health, including you vision.

As always, make sure to make an appointment with us if you are experiencing any vision problems!