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Self-Care: Take a Look at Your Eyes

Mark Kirkpatrick

Caring for your eyes is an important part of daily life. Poor vision and other vision-related medical conditions could have debilitating effects on both your physical and mental health. These effects can also trigger other medical issues and daily problems associated with bipolar disorder.

One essential point of discussion is the association between vision and bipolar disorder. Vision itself is not the key ingredient, however, the headaches and migraines caused by vision-related issues could be troublesome to your bipolar disorder maintenance. There is a wealth of research suggesting vision-related medical problems cause headaches and migraines. In fact, simply having the wrong eyeglasses or contact prescription can cause headaches, among other problems. Let’s take a closer look at the connection between headaches, vision and bipolar disorder.

Eye Strain and Excessive Computer Time May be Causing Your Headaches

If you have bipolar disorder and your headaches are affecting your daily routine, take a peek at your peepers. Your eyes are more than a window into your soul. They are quite possibly the most used sense and body part, especially in the digital age.

Proper eye care when you’re feeling down is an essential first step in battling debilitating headaches and migraines. There are plenty of causes behind those annoying headaches, and eye strain could be one of them. In fact, if you are glued to your smartphone, tablet or laptop for hours on end, eye strain and computer vision syndrome may be the underlying issue. Less screen time can make for fewer headaches. Research found that 50 to 90 percent of people who work on a computer suffer from computer vision syndrome.

The Wrong Eye Prescription Can Cause Headaches and Anxiety

Anxiety and bipolar disorder can really bring your day to a standstill. Headaches surely don’t help, nor do they motivate you to do anything exciting. The combination of headaches and bipolar disorder is most certainly not fun.

If you are experiencing headaches and migraines with a co-occurring anxiety disorder, you are at higher risk of depression. In fact, 40 percent of people with an anxiety related disorder and migraines experience depression. Simply heading to your family optometrist for a vision exam could remedy the headache issues. Your eyes are important, and having the right prescription may indeed be a solution.

Proper Eye Care May Lower Your Risk for Other Vision and Bipolar Issues

Taking care of your eyes when you’re not feeling well may also serve two purposes. If your vision goes unchecked, you may be at risk for other serious vision problems such as macular degeneration and mental health problems.

Chronic headaches and migraines have been suggested to cause long term mental health issues according to researchers at Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. A study published in Headache (2008) found migraines to cause “silent brain damage.”

Stopping headaches may also relieve some of your bipolar disorder discomforts. You may find that a simple vision adjustment or eye strain prevention can have a powerful effect. Without headaches, you may find yourself enjoying life more with friends and family.

Focusing on proper eye care when you’re not feeling up to par may ease some bipolar disorder discomforts. The solution may be as simple as seeing your eye doctor, or spending less time glued to your tech devices. As challenging as daily life may be at times, finding new ways to overcome obstacles is important for overall health and happiness. 

Researched and written by Mark Kirkpatrick