What is the schizophrenic eye gaze?

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This article will explain how you can recognize schizophrenic eye gaze. It will highlight the differences that can be noted in how schizophrenics look at things, and what causes them,  along with explaining what are the other symptoms of schizophrenia. 

What is the schizophrenic eye gaze?

The schizophrenic eye gaze is a particular way people with schizophrenia will look. It can be that they look fixed at something, or have many other specificities in how they look, which will help you know that the person may have schizophrenia. So let’s discuss the possible changes they can have in their eye gaze.

Nystagmus 

Nystagmus is what is called involuntary eye movement which is common in people that have schizophrenia. This causes your eyes to move from side to side, up and down, or even in a circular pattern without any fault of yours.

It is often a common side effect of the medication you are taking, but it is not only that. It can also be connected to different traits in your optic nerves, in your brain, or even in your inner ear.

Strabismus 

This condition which is popularly known as crossed eyes is what happens when your eyes are not looking in the same direction. This condition is often common in people that have the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Impaired visual acuity

This implies that your eye is not acute when seeing things. This can be affected by some psychiatric medication, or even something related to the person’s brain function.

Corneal temperature 

It is also known that having schizophrenia can alter a person’s corneal temperature. To those people, the temperature tends to be higher than for other people.

Blinking faster 

Aside from the temperature of the person’s cornea, people with schizophrenia can also blink a lot faster than people that don’t have this diagnosis.

Atypical retina characteristics 

A person with schizophrenia may also have a different retina from other people, and this can alter the way they look at things. It is important to highlight that the retina is a thin layer of tissue we all have in the back of our eyes, and it helps in the processing of the images we look at.

Problem processing visual information 

It can also happen that people with schizophrenia have trouble in one, or variations of the stages of processing visual information. This can happen in various ways. 

For example, a person with schizophrenia can have trouble with contrast. So being sensitive to that makes it difficult for them to differentiate between light and dark. 

They can also have trouble understanding movement, and the speed of objects when they have trouble processing the motions. Finally, it is also possible that they see objects differently from how they are in reality. They can be objects bent, distorted, or even wavy.

Smooth pursuit eye movement (SPEM)

It can be that people with schizophrenia will also have trouble when looking at moving objects. They can have irregular eye movements in these movements, and it usually happens to 50 to 85% of the people that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

What causes the change in the eye gaze of the person with schizophrenia?

There have been studies done on what causes the change of the eye gaze of a person with schizophrenia. And even though there is no definitive answer yet, some research says that it may be related to genetics. There seems to be a genetic change in people that have schizophrenia, and that seems to change the eye pattern of the person.

Another reason could be that people with schizophrenia have a higher marker of the blood makers that lead to inflammation, so an infection can be the cause of some of these changes. Another research found that people with schizophrenia may have a mutation on chromosome 6, and since this isn’t the one related to the immune system, it can also impact the process of infection.

It is also possible that people that have schizophrenia may have atypical brain movements in areas concerning sight, which could lead to this different eye gaze, but there is still a need for further research.

What are other signs of schizophrenia? 

Schizophrenia will not only manifest itself through eye gaze changes. It can affect the person in many ways. There can be positive manifestations, which are defined by an increase in intensity, and frequency of the activity, and negative, that is a decrease in it.

On the positive side, you have an increase in disordered thoughts, and the person’s speech, along with hallucinations, and delusion. On the negative side, a person with schizophrenia will have less interest in having social contact, they will also have trouble feeling pleasure, and functioning in their daily life.

What are the possible treatments for schizophrenia?

The first thing to consider when talking about the treatment of someone that has schizophrenia is that it is not easy for them to recognize that there is a problem. At first, it may be that their friends and family members realize that their behavior has changed, and through that, they may begin to discuss with the patient the possibility of looking for help.

But it is important to know that looking for treatment is not something you can push the person with schizophrenia to do. That will likely only make it worse, but you can share with them what is concerning you.

The first step toward treating schizophrenia is learning about the condition, and knowing that it is a chronic condition that can’t be cured. But it is possible to be treated, and for the person to be stable. For that, it may be necessary to therapy, and to be accompanied by a psychiatrist.

The goal of the treatment is for you to regain control over your thoughts, and feelings. The medication used in this treatment is what will help the patient with schizophrenia maintain contact with reality, and in therapy, they will learn how to control their behaviors, organize their emotions, and their day-to-day activities.

In schizophrenia cases, treatment is also important to help them deal with the suicidal thoughts that can be common. By doing that, you can allow the person with schizophrenia to keep functioning in their lives. It is also important to realize that the sooner you start the treatment for schizophrenia, the better the chances of positive results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is the schizophrenic eye gaze? 

Can mental health affect a person’s eyes?

Yes, mental health can affect a person’s eyes. As with anything that will impact the person’s brain, when a person has a mental health problem, it can affect their eyes and even their sight. 

What are the most common signs of schizophrenia?

When a person has schizophrenia, they will show it when they have hallucinations about what they are seeing, hearing, tasting, or even touching. They can also have disorganized thinking, which will often be possible to notice in their disorganized speech.

They can also become delusional, which means that they will keep obsessing over one thought, even when there is clear evidence that things didn’t happen, or aren’t happening in the way they think it is. Aside from. that schizophrenia can make the person experience trouble in their episodic memory, which is the type of memory related to everyday activities. 

People with schizophrenia are also hyperactive, at first, people with schizophrenia may even think they have ADHD. They can also have delusions of grandeur, so they will often believe that they are superior to others, and can have high self-esteem. Schizophrenic people won’t let go of that idea easily, they are usually persistent ones.

They can also have something that is called a flat face, in which they don’t show any emotion, and can become more isolated. People with schizophrenia will usually take things too literally, which can get them in trouble, and lead to disorganized, and inappropriate behavior.

What are closed-eye hallucinations?

Closed eyes hallucinations are hallucinations that happen when a person has their eyes closed, or even are in a dark room. It is quite 

common for people to experience closed-eyes hallucinations when they take psychedelics. 

The closed-eyes hallucinations are often similar to the ones that people will have when they lose their vision, which are called visual release hallucinations. There are five levels of closed-eyes hallucinations, that go from visual noise to an overriding physical perception.

It is important to know that closed-eyes hallucinations don’t include image burn-in, entoptic phenomena, blue sky sprites, and physical retina stimulation.

Can people with schizophrenia understand what others are feeling?

Sometimes it can be difficult for people with schizophrenia to know what others are thinking or feeling. That is because they are not able to learn that, and that can be a problem for them, and the people they are close to.

What is eye twitching?

Eye twitching is something that people can often have, it is not a life-threatening condition, and it is not known what causes it exactly. But it is understood that it can come from the motor nerves in the brain. It is a temporary occurrence that will often just pass with time.

Some matters can make a person more susceptible to developing eye twitching such as dry eyes, stress, fatigue, eye strain, and even the use of some medications. When a person is experiencing eye twitching, they can feel the muscles on their eyelids moving involuntarily.

In most cases, people around you won’t notice that you are experiencing eye twitching. But when the person experiences it intensely, it can get to the point of losing the person’s eyelid without them wanting to. 

If you begin to experience eye twitching too often, it may be that it is related to an eye condition. It can be a sign of inflammation of the eyelids, bell’s palsy, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, or even Tourette syndrome.

To improve your eye twitching you should try to get more sleep, reduce how much caffeine, and alcohol you take, try to find ways to reduce stress, and even get eye drops that can help with your eye dryness.

Can anxiety affect my eyes?

Yes, anxiety can affect your eyes, especially more severe anxiety. The condition can lead to eye pain, double vision, or even tunnel vision. That is because anxiety is leading the person’s fight or flight system to be activated, which can lead to many changes in the person’s body.

Conclusion

This article explained the specificities of the schizophrenic person’s eye gaze. It also shows why this happens, and what are other symptoms of schizophrenia to be on the lookout for.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/schizophrenia/schizophrenia-eyes#outlook

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