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Ask Dr. Dan B. Your Own Question
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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Why is it that after I cry my vision weakens? My eyes are

Customer Question


Why is it that after I cry my vision weakens? My eyes are also itching? I have to blink more. It is almost as if I went swimming in the tropics. And I get headaches and I am generally more sluggish in my thinking? Not as alert as I normally am? And, tired? Basically, apathetic and lethargic and all I can do is drink water and feel weirdly emotional.

It sometimes takes for two days for the symptoms to clear!

Thank you!!

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks for your question.

Ivana, I'm sorry for your symptoms and most especially for your crying as of late. As to why you are getting headaches and why you are more lethargic and more sluggish in your thinking associated with your crying, I cannot definitively say. These symptoms sound very consistent with a depressive episode, which would explain the mood changes as well.

As to why your vision weakens after you cry, this is a straight-forward problem. Your eyes naturally are coated with a layer of tears on the front of them. This enables the front of the eye to be healthy but also allows for clear vision. The interface between this tear film and the air is what accounts for the majority of the refractive (focusing) power of the eyes. When you cry, this tear film is drastically changed with the flood of tears, which are not just water, but also include mucus as well. This can cause a change in the vision because of the change in the tear film composition and volume. Everybody is different when it comes to how long it takes their tear film to settle down. For some it returns to normal within minutes, but for some people it can take much longer.

Just know that these changes are normal and do not represent anything permanently wrong with your vision, as long as your vision does return to its baseline. However, I would recommend that you talk to your primary care doctor about these possible depressive symptoms.

Does that help address your concerns?

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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must be examined by your doctor.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you very much!!

Is there anything I can do to alleviate the symptoms?

Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 6 years ago.

You're welcome. You may consider starting to use hot compresses in the morning when you get up for 5-10 minutes and also using artificial tears in both eyes 3-4x/day for 2-3 weeks. Doing these two things may help your tear film be more healthy and stable and this may help the vision stabilize better after a crying episode.

Hope this has been helpful.

Dr. Dan B. and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Doctor DanB,

I did the hot compress and it helped me. My vision is not fully restored but maybe half-way. I may try it again in a few hours.

Thank you very much for your advice!


Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 6 years ago.
You're welcome. Good luck to you. I'm happy to help anytime.