Persistent psychological stress contributes to development and progression of vision loss
Persistent psychological stress, which is widely recognized as a consequence of vision loss, is also a major contributor to its development and progression, according to a study now published in the EPMA Journal, the official journal of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized Medicine. Clinical practice implications of this finding include a recommendation to improve the clinician-patient relationship and provide stress-reduction treatments and psychological counseling to interrupt the vicious cycle of stress and progressive vision loss.
“There is clear evidence of a psychosomatic component to vision loss, as stress is an important cause − not just a consequence − of progressive vision loss resulting from diseases such as glaucoma, optic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration,” says Prof. Bernhard Sabel, PhD, Director of the Institute of Medical Psychology at Magdeburg University, Germany, lead investigator of the study. Prof. Sabel has pioneered a holistic treatment approach that combines stress management, patient education, and vision recovery and restoration techniques at the SAVIR-Center for Vision Restoration in Germany.
The study, which will be presented in November 2018 at the 5th International Conference of “Low Vision and Brain” in Berlin, is based on a comprehensive analysis of hundreds of published research and clinical reports on the relationship of stress and ophthalmologic diseases. Some case reports are presented showing how stress induces vision loss and how reduction of stress contributes to vision restoration.
“Continuous stress and elevated cortisol levels negatively impact the eye and brain due to autonomic nervous system (sympathetic) imbalance and vascular deregulation,” Prof. Sabel explains, emphasizing that both the eye and the brain are involved in vision loss, a fact that is often overlooked by treating physicians and is not systematically documented in the medical literature…..
Source: News Medical Life Science