Understanding the Surprising Links Between Eye Health and Mental Health

Author: Contributer

Self-esteem can have a profound impact on various facets of life. In our previous write-up, we explained that our identities and sense of self-confidence can affect us in areas like work, relationships, and even our mental well-being. Low self-esteem, where one quickly succumbs to despair or defeat, can lead to hasty decisions and damaging consequences in everyday experiences.
What’s worse is that, with the exception of challenges rooted in biology, psychologists consider virtually every psychological issue to be linked to inadequate self-esteem. In the intricate web of human health, connections between seemingly unrelated aspects thus surface, revealing surprising interdependencies. As we delve into the unexpected links between eye health and mental health, we find that self-esteem plays a pivotal role in shaping this intricate relationship. This is similar to the concepts discussed in our piece on how to overcome an inferiority complex.

The link between eye and mental health

Good eyesight can be crucial for effective communication and social interaction. Thus, it’s easy for vision problems or discomfort to lead to frustration, stress, or even feelings of isolation, hindering interpersonal relationships. A 2020 study in BMC Psychiatry confirmed that the link between visual acuity and depression was mediated by self-esteem (25%) and a sense of mastery (79%), as people with deteriorating eyesight are forced to rely on others. These individuals experience limitations in activities of daily living, impacting their overall quality of life, and simultaneously face negative public attitudes towards visual disability. For more on the subject of mental health and its relation to our daily activities, read how to help a person with trust issues.
Beyond social factors affecting the internalized and perceived stigma of individuals with poor eye health, biological factors also come into play. Another study published in Scientific Reports in 2023 found that the genes that cause eye diseases (45.38%) and mental health issues (22.69%) make up the largest share of genes with a strong likelihood of causing severe problems in people with high myopia. This highlights the genetic underpinnings that connect eye health and mental health, providing a new perspective on the complex relationship between these two domains. To explore more about the impact of self-esteem on mental health, you might find our article on how to overcome an inferiority complex insightful.

Tips for eye health and confidence

Taking regular eye exams

Despite 55% of Canadian adults having health insurance plans covering optical needs, a concerning 38% are overdue for regular eye exams. Eye experts stress that comprehensive eye exams ensure clear vision and identify potential issues early on. By addressing vision concerns promptly, individuals can enhance their visual acuity. Knowing that your vision is at its best instills a sense of assurance, reducing the risk of anxiety or depression associated with visual impairment. For more tips on maintaining mental wellness, our guide on how to self-soothe can be helpful.

Updating eyeglasses prescription

Beyond improving vision, an updated prescription reduces common issues like eye strain and headaches. This improvement in visual comfort has a ripple effect, influencing mood, confidence, and even personal style. It helps that updating your glasses today is as easy as filtering out the best-selling designs on online retailers, whether it’s the Saint-Henri of Clearly or Seaholme by Main and Central, and inputting your latest prescription. Orders are typically processed and shipped directly to customers’ homes within a week, ensuring a seamlessly accessible source of eyewear that simultaneously complements one’s fashion sense.

Wearing proper eyewear

Despite the rising accessibility of eyeglasses, many individuals still avoid wearing spectacles due to discomfort or insecurity about their appearance. Here, choosing a design that aligns with your style is key, ensuring that you will want to wear it regularly. Moreover, trendy designs like the cat-eye edge or the chunky frame allow eyeglasses to become a daily fashion accessory, enhancing overall confidence. For those seeking variety, wearing contact lenses provides a versatile alternative. Contrary to recent sensationalist news, lenses are safe for wear and do not contain concerning levels of forever chemicals, making them an equally effective option to spectacles for those seeking both visual clarity and enhanced self-confidence.

As we navigate the intricate connections between physical and mental health, recognizing the impact of eye health on our psychological well-being becomes essential for a holistic approach to self-care. For more on health, wellness, and personal development, check out our other articles on Therapist Pages.


Sharon J. Thompson