The Emotional and Psychological Effects of Vision Loss & How IALVS Can Help

April marks Stress Awareness Month, making it a relevant time to address the intersection of stress, depression, and vision loss — a topic that can have a profound and lasting effect on many but is often not spoken about enough. As part of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS), each of our members understand how much vision loss can significantly impact your mental health, leading to feelings of stress and depression. This connection has been proven through research, highlighting the psychological toll of adapting to a new way of living while experiencing vision loss.

Research On The Emotional Impact of Vision Loss and Low Vision

New research published in the Journal of Mental Health and Clinical Psychology indicates that individuals who had suffered significant vision loss described feeling depressed, worthless, and stressed out. In many cases, even those participants who reported a level of acceptance of their condition, along with the perceived limitations their vision loss imposed on them, showed signs of anxiety and depression, including losing interest in previously enjoyable activities, avoiding social interactions, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite.

Throughout the study, these negative emotions were often linked to the loss of independence that participants felt as they were increasingly unable to navigate their world confidently, do things for themselves around the house, or get from place to place on their own. Fortunately, this is where IALVS doctors can step in to offer a ray of hope.

How IALVS Can Help

By providing access to specialized low-vision aids, glasses, and technologies, such as telescopic lenses, microscope lenses, prisms, filters, and magnifiers, IALVS members help patients make the most of their remaining vision to read, watch TV, enjoy the sights as they go for a walk, and more. In some cases, they help patients maintain their ability to drive. This can significantly improve patients’ emotional and psychological outlook as they seek to come to terms with their vision loss and continue to live their best lives.

As we observe Stress Awareness Month, it’s essential to shine a light on the psychological impact of vision loss and recognize the importance of comprehensive care that addresses the physical and emotional aspects of this life-changing experience.

Along with support from psychological professionals and family, as recommended in the research discussed above, your local IALVS doctor member can significantly reduce the stress and depression associated with vision loss by fostering a sense of empowerment and resilience.

We believe there is life after vision loss. Call a local IALVS eye doctor from our directory found here to make an appointment and learn how we can help you live your best life.

Source:

Psychological Impact of Vision Loss (mentalhealthjournal.org)