Stress could accelerate vision loss
- Glaucoma affects 1 to 2% of the population over 40 years old and about 10% after 70 years old according to the Health Insurance.
- 400,000 to 500,000 people affected by glaucoma do not know it yet, says Inserm.
Further proof of the deleterious effect of stress on health: according to a study published in Aging Cell, repeated stress would force the ocular tissue to accelerate its aging process, which leads to loss of vision.
Stress increases the pressure inside the eyeball
Indeed, stress causes an increase in intraocular pressure in the eye which forces the retinal tissue to undergo changes similar to those of natural aging. It was thanks to images of the optic nerve head on mice that the scientists made this discovery.
When the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine team examined the optic nerve head of eyes treated with mild pressure elevation, they noted that in the young optic nerve head, there is no had no signs of loss of axons – the nerve processes. However, in the optic nerves of aged animals, significant loss of axons was observed, similar to what is commonly observed in patients with glaucoma.
Blindness: stress induces accelerated aging of the eye
But the aging of the eye is a major risk factor for this group of neuropathies, say the researchers.
Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease caused by damage to the optic nerve. This condition is the second leading cause of blindness in France, after age-related macular degeneration (AMD). “It is favored by an increase in the internal pressure of the eye. If left untreated, it can cause visual impairment due to decreased visual field”, indicates the Health Insurance.
These results could therefore open new avenues for targeting and preserving cellular function in people with glaucoma: “We continue our efforts to understand the mechanism of accumulated changes during aging in order to find potential targets for treatments. We are also testing different approaches to prevent the accelerated aging process resulting from stressDorota Skowronska-Krawczyk, study author, assistant professor of physiology and biophysics and ophthalmology and faculty member of the Center for Translational Vision Research at the University of California School of Medicine, explained in a statement. in Irvine.
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