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Blurred vision and insulin

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#1
April Smart

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Hi
Has anyone experienced blurred vision after starting insulin? I had a lot of problems when I started on medication a few years ago which eventually settled down. Now I have been advised to start taking insulin and wonder if the problem will return.
April

#2
christie

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i have only had blurred vision if i was too low or too high

#3
koblenz

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Hi April, and welcome to our little oasis on the net.

In response to your question, I did have blurred vision when I started insulin just after being diagnosed Type 1 about 8 months ago. I was told by my Endocrinologist that this may happen and not to be worried, it would go away.

Well it did happen to me, and it did go away after about 3 weeks, however, your milage may vary (YMMV). While it was really frustrating (couldn't read anything), my vision returned to normal (pre-diagnosis levels).

So, I hope this helps and it was my personal experience. Now you know you are not alone out there. There is a fine bunch of folks here ready to listen and help.
My wife keeps telling me I never listen to her.... or something like that!

#4
buzzborne

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I am on insulin and I also every now-and-again suffer from blurred vision, but as christie said it is partly to do with when my blood sugars are too high or too low.
~ SchaTzcheN ~

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Now a qualified Norland Nanny

#5
Lorna

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Im on insulin and have not suffered any problems cos of it. If you do just keep going back to the doctor and complaining until they find what works for you.

#6
bel4_20

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I to have been on Insulin for 2 1/2 years and suffer from the same thing you are describing, I to have been told it is nothing to worry about.

#7
notme

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I have been on insulin for 19 years. I still have days with unexplained blurred vision. Some days are great and others, my eyes are awful. I thought it might be some of the other meds I am taking, but so far can not find this as a side effect for any of them. It does NOT seem to correlate with high or low sugar. Just weird off days.
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#8
rzrbks

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bel4_20

I to have been on Insulin for 2 1/2 years and suffer from the same thing you are describing, I to have been told it is nothing to worry about.



Yep, my eye Dr. finds me a Bit irritating, I'm very sensitive to changes in my vision:

eye Dr.(with a bit a irritation in her voice)."You're much more aware of changes to your vision than most people."

I notice a big difference between my vision at 85/4.7 and my vision at 115/6.3.
And I can't even watch TV when B/G is above 130/7.2, everything looks all weird and messed up. :1eye:
"I am wounded," he said, "wounded, and it will never heal."

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#9
sc0

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My eyes are the things I worry the most about when we're talking about "complications due to diabetes". I can certainly say that my vision has deteriorated somewhat since I was diagnosed Type 1. In support of the previous posts, I can confirm that in my personal experience BG does directly affect my vision. When I'm very low, say 1-2 mmol, I suddenly begin to see a bright after-image around my central vision - much like the one you would see if you looked at a very bright circular ring shape for a while.

When my BG is very high however, I don't think I've experienced actual vision deteriation in the short term. I dunno if this is really the case, but when my BG is high I get the tangible feeling that my blood is somehow "thicker", and I do feel pressure in my eyes, along with a slight loss of concentration. From what I've read so far on this site, there are many difference symptoms connected to vision and everyone's mileage seems to vary. I'm the worse candidate to lecture anyone on diabetes control, however in my time here it's been impressed upon me how important it is to actually go to the eye appointments, get the eye pressures checked twice a year (you check your tyre pressures more than that... think about it), and also, if available to you make sure you are screened for signs of diabetic retinopathy once a year.

Course, I'm in the UK and can receive a lot of this support on the NHS at low or no cost. I realise it's a lot more difficult for people elsewhere (the US springs to mind) but we are talking about your eyes here.

I hope your symptoms are as short-lived as the others here have experienced - I hope their stories have offered you even a little reassurance.

Cheers,

sc0.
Everything in its right place.

Type I since ~1997 - Basal: Humulin-I (Isophane)
Bolus: Humalog (Lispro)

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#10
Belinda

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[QUOTE=sc0

Course, I'm in the UK and can receive a lot of this support on the NHS at low or no cost. I realise it's a lot more difficult for people elsewhere (the US springs to mind) but we are talking about your eyes here.



Cheers,

sc0.[/QUOTE]
I don't have any problems getting my eyes checked here in the US. I go 3 times a year. Once to the retinologist and the other two to the opthamologist. Insurance covers these visits as well....all but the small co pay.
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#11
docta-docta

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As others have told you, it's normal to have fuzzy vision, especially after diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.

Never go for an eye appointment until your glucose levels have stablized.

A funny story about someone who was diagnosed is a person I know who wore glasses his entire life. Then came his Type 1 diagnosis. The fuzziness actually REVERSED his need for glasses for 3 weeks. Therefore, he did NOT have any eye problems, but in fact, could see only when he didn't wear his contacts/glasses. He was pretty lucky for those 3 weeks.

Some people's vision get so fuzzy that they are unable to even drive. This is normal. Best thing to do is get some magnifying glasses (cheap ones) and use them during this period.

The cause of the fuzziness is due to the build up of sugar in the eye's viseral fluid. Once you started the insulin, your body's glucose levels are going down. This results in your eyes needing to lose the high glucose concentration, but it only happens very slowly.

Your fuzzy vision is actually the witnessing of the glucose transporting across the lens of your eyes! Rare thing to see. Vision will improve in ~3-4 weeks. Until then, it will seem pretty weird.

The best thing you can do is ensure that your glucose levels remain at 80-130 mg/dL.

Out of curiosity, what was your initial A1c value before you started the insulin?

#12
Shalyndria

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Your fuzzy vision is actually the witnessing of the glucose transporting across the lens of your eyes! Rare thing to see. Vision will improve in ~3-4 weeks. Until then, it will seem pretty weird.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this.

What actually happens (and is correctly termed "diabetic lens osmosis") is that the lens of the eye, which is a semi-permeable membrane, acts as a sponge and absorbs extra glucose from the circulatory system (as all semi-permeable membranes will in cases of hyperglycemia). It then draws up more water from surrounding tissues to even out concentration. The occular lens fills with fluid and swells up, which changes the way the lens refracts light and affects focus, which causes blurriness. Similar changes in the lens can also be caused by hypoglycemia and visual halo's are quite common side-effects.

Shy

#13
Brent44a

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I was referred to an opthamologist almost immediately after diagnosis. He confirmed no retinal damage. He also confirmed that my distance vision was vastly different from the pre-diagnosis check I had a couple of months previous at the same hospital clinic. I don't remember how to display the numbers but it changed from something like 20/15 to 20/400. For me, the blurred vision was severe and it was helpful to know when the vision had returned to normal. The blurriness still affects me almost fours years later although the eye exams are all normal and the distance vision is back to good levels.

#14
docta-docta

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Sorry, but I have to disagree with this.

What actually happens (and is correctly termed "diabetic lens osmosis") is that the lens of the eye, which is a semi-permeable membrane, acts as a sponge and absorbs extra glucose from the circulatory system (as all semi-permeable membranes will in cases of hyperglycemia). It then draws up more water from surrounding tissues to even out concentration. The occular lens fills with fluid and swells up, which changes the way the lens refracts light and affects focus, which causes blurriness. Similar changes in the lens can also be caused by hypoglycemia and visual halo's are quite common side-effects.

Shy

:stupid: :stupid: :stupid: :stupid: :stupid: :stupid: :stupid:


Like I said... :thumbsup:

*feels paranoid -- as if I'm being followed*

#15
Belinda

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hmmmm not exactly doc... you actually stated not to see an eye doctor until you are stable as it is known that you need to see one probably ASAP and they return once it is stable. Vision is important. I also understand the way Shy stated much better than I could follow yours. Must be the readability level :whistling
Posted Image Belinda


"- work as if you don't need money, - love as if you've never been hurt, -
dance, as if nobody can see you, - sing, as if no one can hear, - live, as
if the Earth was a heaven."

#16
JasonSmithMT

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Never go for an eye appointment until your glucose levels have stablized.


I'm with Belinda ... this is horrid advice.

Even though hyperglycemia can cause transient myopia from osmotic swelling (as described above) it is important to have appropriate ophthamologic care done by a competent eye doctor regardless of the state of glyemic control. Often visual acuity will still be corrected with corrective lenses even though it may change frequently as glucose levels normalize.

Current guidelines call for all diabetic patients over the age of 30 to have an eye exam once a year no matter how short a time they have had diabetes. If between 10 and 30, they should have an annual exam after 5 years of diagnosis if no problems or risk factors are present.

Jason

#17
Harold

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Hi
Has anyone experienced blurred vision after starting insulin? I had a lot of problems when I started on medication a few years ago which eventually settled down. Now I have been advised to start taking insulin and wonder if the problem will return.
April

Assuming your were put on meds because you were high and assuming your going on insulin because your high let us assume that it is most likely. Now that it has been over two months since you posed the question you should be over any adjustment as far as your eyes go so how did it go?


Originally Posted by docta-docta
Never go for an eye appointment until your glucose levels have stablized.



I'm with Belinda ... this is horrid advice.

More like conditional advice than horrid. Conditional in that he is not going to do anything anyway besides to tell you to get your bg's down or refer you your regular doctor or endo for help so he can correct any damage afterwards. Although after sustained high bg's a trip to the opthalmologist or optometrist is in order to check for damage. It's also advisable to check your bg's before having your eyes checked for corrective lenses. Some will ask that you bring your meter with you so that they can see your in a reasonable range.

#18
ssnlpc

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Glad to read these posts about insulin and blurred vision. I was just diagnosed this month and 8 days after starting insulin the world got blurry. My GP wanted me to see an Opthalmologist. This Opthalmologist walked in the room, declared I needed glasses and refused to consider any medication or diabetes complications. I told him it just started after insulin and he said "No it is because of your age (47)" He was such a jerk and I was so frustrated. I didn't get to ask any eye questions about diabetes because after declaring I had bilateral cataracts, he told me "you need glasses, you will need surgery in a few years, see me in 6 months" and walked out. Obviously, I'm not going back.




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