A friend of mine, Joanne, told me that she knew that her diabetes must be "acting up" because her vision was a little blurry in the early evening light on her porch. I asked for clarification and she said that she had noticed that when she had blurred vision, it was time to hydrate, check her sugar and have at least a small snack.
Vision issues are a well known concern of people that have diabetes. At first, I was shocked by what she said, and then I thought back to a very bad cold that I had a year ago. I felt absolutely awful. No matter what I did, I was tired. All that I wanted to do was sleep. A friend called to check in on me, waking me from my sleep. When I went to answer the phone, I had a hard time focusing on the name displayed on the phone screen.
At the time, I blamed the vision issue to sleeping so much and being tired. When I was done talking with my friend, I went to the bathroom, had a snack, and got a drink of water. Climbing back into bed, I pulled up social media to have a look at what the world had been doing while I was asleep. The words were still slightly blurred. I grabbed my reading glasses, but there was still a blurred edge to the letters.
Frustrated, I went back to sleep, blaming it on being "tired". When I woke the second time, everything seemed to be resolved, and I did not think about the incident again until Joanne told me about her blurry vision incident.
When I went to the eye doctor for an exam, I remembered the incident and relayed it to my eye doctor, expecting them to dismiss it as coincidence. They went into detail about the risks of diabetes that is not in good control or monitoring. Blurry vision can occur when a diabetic is dehydrated because the body is doing everything that it can to keeps all systems go. When you are dehydrated, the actual shape of your eye can change. Your body can be so low on fluids that you are unable to tear properly or unable to tear at all.
Additionally, dehydration affects your blood sugar levels. As your bodily fluids become more concentrated, your blood sugar levels will rise. It is important to consume adequate water in warmer weather to avoid overheating, which can also spike blood sugar. In cooler weather, we have to be mindful because we may not feel thirsty because we are not hot.
When my optometrist and I talked, I asked if the 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day was the number to aim for. He suggested that I look at some of the water calculators that are online, and to be very honest when I filled in the information to get a good idea of where I needed to be.
The water calculator that I chose is rehydratepro.com/hydration-calculator/ It allowed me to put in all of my information, including the fact that I really don't exersize as I should yet. (Baby steps, but I am not there yet.)
With all of the input, 1.85 liters or, 65.11 imperial ounces is the amount that I should consume every day. (Just barely over the 8 ounces per glass, 8 glasses per day recommendation.) There was even a suggested breakdown of ideal water consumption, 3 glasses in the morning, 3 glasses in the afternoon, 1 in the evening and one at bedtime.
Here is how I have broken down the consumption to get it all done in a day:
Since I have made it a point of consuming enough water, my vision problems have not occured again. Even if I am feeling under the weather, I make it a point to keep hydrating, which also helps to flush my system.
Hydrate for the sake of your vision!
A concern that I have read about again and again for people with diabetes is vision problems, including blindness. My older sister has to have injections in her one eye because of complications from diabetes. My younger sister no longer wears contact lenses for the same reason.
I had LASIK surgery about 20 years ago. About 15 years ago, my vision started changing. I noticed it first when I was cleaning a pair of glasses for a family member. As I looked through the lens to make sure that it was clean, I was seeing a sharper image. I was surprised because my vision had been constant since my surgery.
I went to the eye doctor, and sure enough, there was enough of a change in my vision that I needed glasses. I got glasses and I also got fitted for contact lenses. I decided to go for the lenses that had the most positive reviews in terms of comfort, because at the time, I was working at the airport, and the constant changes in temperature/air pressure from opening and closing doors, etcetera was something that the optometrist was a little concerned about.
The first few days of wearing the contacts, I was told that there would be an adjustment period. I called the eye doctor because the first day was absolutely miserable. My eyes felt dry all day long. I called the doctor and he told me that I should come in and let him have a look. During the visit, he said that it looked like I had eyes that were a little dry, and that wearing contacts to work would probably not be good for my eye health. He changed the contacts I was wearing, and I have it a second try. I was unable to wear them at home because it was just too uncomfortable.
In doing research, I discovered that vision problems are a massive problems in the diabetic community. Fear of blindness made me change how I handle my eye health. Here are the changes that I have made:
Hi, my name is Dixie
I have diabetes and this is the place where I share all of the discoveries that are part of my journey.