• Can stress cause temporary visual loss/disturbance?


    Question:

    While under tremendous stress due to the loss of our teen, I felt pressure in my right eye. I could not seem to see properly. I placed my hand over my right eye and could see out of my left eye. When I placed my hand over my left eye, it seemed like everything was dark, as though I was looking through a dark piece of fabric. It went away after a couple of hours and now it seems fairly normal. Can stress cause temporary visual loss/disturbance?


    Answer:

    Emotional stress per se does not impair visual function, but changes in posture, forceful eye closure, pressure on an eyeball, or even transient decreases in blood pressure can lead to brief dimming of vision. Such effects are temporary and generally do not necessitate any eye treatments. There are other causes of temporary vision loss that can be serious. You should see an ophthalmologist soon for an evaluation, even if your vision is back to normal.


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