Psychological Stress (2013, 1977, 1987) and Glaucoma


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For more than 20 years researchers have suspected that emotional stress may be connected to incidence of glaucoma.


These researchers demonstrated that there is a markedly higher level of insomnia, anxiety and depression in glaucoma patients. While stress is probably a causative factor, it is also a result.

Researchers: A. Agorastos, C. Skevas, et al
Published: Depression, anxiety, and disturbed sleep in glaucoma, Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, Summer, 2013.


Knowing that earlier literature suggested a connection between stress and glaucoma, researchers considered the relationship between stress and intraocular pressure.

Stress appears to be a significant factor in acute closed-angle glaucoma. And suspicion increases that it also plays an important part in incidence of open-angle glaucoma. Many attacks of acute glaucoma occur during times of greatest personal emotional or stress. This is because the pupil dilates when one is upset or excited narrowing the angle of the lens and the iris. This probable role is leading to use of conventional methods of stress reduction such as meditation, biofeedback and relaxation techniques.

Researcher: B.G. Shily
Published: American Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics, November, 1987.


Researchers found that stress may be connected to glaucoma risk. After reviewing incidence of above average stress in patients, researchers have indicated that high stress leads to a 3times higher risk for high eye pressure. High levels of pressure have been connected to glaucoma (although glaucoma can also occur with 'normal' levels of eye pressure.

Published: Grignolo, F.M. et. al. Variations of intraocular pressure induced by psychological stress. Klinische Monatsblaten Augenheilkd 170 (1977): 562-69.