Do you experience flickering vision during anxiety?

Do you experience flickering vision during anxiety?

Flickering vision can be one of the symptoms of anxiety in extreme cases. Anxiety is a normal response to stress or fear. Many people have reported experiencing difficulties with their vision while they experience a sense of anxiety or stress.

Evidence indicates that anxiety can also be associated with flashes of light and some visual changes related to anxiety-like flashes and floaters.

People experiencing anxiety might complain of experiencing small, dark specks that look like light which is commonly called floaters.

The reason or connection between anxiety and visual discomfort is not studied in dept yet. However, one relational study in 2015 suggested that people with anxiety and depression are more likely to have dry eye disease than those who don’t.

If people do experience flickering vision due to their anxiety it is best suggested that they consult their therapist or speak to an eye specialist to get a clear picture of what is causing the symptoms before it leads to irreversible damage.

In some cases the flickering vision might not even be related to anxiety but because it occurs while people are stressed they might relate the two. It is better to get a clear understanding of one’s physiological response and causes.

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are a part of every individual’s life, which are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called as Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:


  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

What are the causes of anxiety that might result in flickering vision?

Anxiety often results from accumulated stress or overwhelming feelings. Some common causes of anxiety include.

  • Increased and challenging situations and demands in day-to-day life.
  • Major changes in family dynamics such as marriage, divorce, death of a loved one.
  • Strain interpersonal relationships
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms
  • Comorbid conditions both physical and mental
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Genetic factors
  • Changes in the brain region
  • Overdose of caffeine
  • Prolonged use of medications
  • Significant traumatic experiences in the past or recent times
  • Comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder or any other phobias.

What are some ways to manage anxiety and the resulting flickering vision?

The flickering vision that is caused by anxiety can be reduced once a person takes control over their anxieties. 

Some ways to resolve a persons anxiety concerns and the resulting flickering vision are:

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques


Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time


Anxiety is a serious health concern these days. Apart from the well-researched symptoms of anxiety people might experience additional symptoms that are not well resolved such as visual changes.

Though the number of people who report visual discomfort or changes due to stress is relatively lower than the other symptoms they might be distressing and adding to further stress in individuals.

Frequently asked questions

Can anxiety make your vision weird?

Anxiety can cause various eye problems or vision symptoms such as flickering eyes, shadows, sensitivity to light, tunnel vision, eye strain, blurry vision, and other related symptoms.

Can anxiety make you see stars?

People experiencing high levels of anxiety might also report symptoms such as flashes of light that have them seeing stars apart from the well-known symptoms of anxiety.

Can stress affect one’s vision?

constant stress levels release adrenaline leading to dilated pupils and eventual light sensitivity. This might lead to twitching and tightening of one’s eye muscles which might cause stress-related vision problems and eye discomfort.

Can panic attacks cause blurred vision?

It is believed that panic attacks can cause blurred vision in many individuals due to the amount of stress that is associated with panic attacks.


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