(Web Desk) – According to a new mouse research published in the journal Aging Cell, chronic stress might eventually degrade your eyesight. According to current studies, prolonged stress prematurely ages and degenerates eye cells.
The cells in your eye age in the same way that all other cells do. Nonetheless, mass ageing and degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in the eye is a substantial risk factor for glaucoma. Because people are living longer lives, it is expected that there will be more than 110 million glaucoma sufferers globally by 2040.
Stress, such as increased intraocular pressure, promotes epigenetic and transcriptional changes similar to those associated with ageing in retinal tissue. The study’s authors found that repeated stress causes eye tissue to age faster in younger retinal tissue. The findings might lead to the ability to tune and sustain cellular activity in glaucoma patients.
“Our work emphasises the importance of early diagnosis and prevention, as well as age-specific management of age-related diseases, including glaucoma,” said study author Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk, an assistant professor of Physiology and Biophysics and Ophthalmology and faculty at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.
“The epigenetic modifications we discovered show that changes on the chromatin level are acquired in an accumulative approach, after multiple occurrences of stress. If and when the condition is detected early, we will have a window of opportunity to avoid visual loss.”
The intraocular pressure in the eye fluctuates between 12 and 21 mmHg on a daily basis in healthy persons. It affects about two-thirds of the population more often at night. Due to the wide range of intraocular pressure, a single measurement of intraocular pressure is inadequate to predict glaucoma patients’ disease development.
Long-term intraocular pressure fluctuations are recognised as a solid predictor of glaucoma progression. The study’s results support this hypothesis. The authors argue that the impacts of frequent, modest variations increase the ageing of retinal tissue as well as oscillations.
Even little increases in intraocular pressure, according to Skowronska-Krawczyk, induce the loss of retinal ganglion cells and the accompanying vision deficits in elderly animals. Researchers are continuously exploring the process of accumulative ageing changes in order to find potential therapeutic targets. They are also exploring with different strategies to slow the stress-related ageing process.