Fear and Avoidance of Eyes

Fear is a powerful thing and comes in many varieties. What one person sees as nothing to be uncomfortable about can terrify another past the point where they can’t function. The eye care world is not immune to the world of phobias, one of which is called Ommetaphobia.

Background

A fear that has become severe or irrational is called a phobia.¬†Ommetaphobia is the fear of eyes or eye care, and can have a serious impact on a victim’s eye health. This problem can be the result of some sort of eye-related trauma occurring at a younger age, or being exposed to disturbing images involving eyes.

Ommetaphobia’s Effect

When a person cannot bring themselves to allow a doctor to check their eyes, many eye diseases that could be caught early have a risk of being missed. The result can be pain and/or permanent vision loss. If the fear also involves having one’s own eyes touched, the patient may miss out on vision correction options such as contact lenses, LASIK or PRK.

Another way that Ommetaphobia might manifest is by not being able to make eye contact or look at the eyes of another person. This may lead to poor social interactions and difficulties being with other people altogether, which of course has a potential for other psychological issues.

Help for Ommetaphobia

Mental health professionals have worked wonders for the majority of people who suffer from phobias. Hypnotherapy, behavioral therapy, medication, or other types of psychiatric methods have shown to be helpful for Ommetaphobia patients.

Ommetaphobia is more common than you may realize, and can be difficult to manage. If you suffer with this phobia to any degree, talk to your optometrist for recommendations for treatment options.

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