≡ Menu
You are here: Home » Does Ketogenic Eating Cause Temporary Blurred Vision?

From my experience, I think adopting a ketogenic lifestyle will cause temporary blurred vision in some people. I noticed that after I went on an LCHF ketogenic way of eating my vision started to get blurry. I wear reading glasses and at times they didn’t seem strong enough. There were times I would put them on to read captions on the television. I had never done that before.

Double Glasses

Since my glasses are only for reading, I never needed them to view numbers on digital clocks in the house. However, I noticed I was having difficulty reading numbers and had to put on my reading glasses to clear things up. That was a new and very unwelcome development. And my goodness, trying to read the small print on nutrition labels when food shopping was almost impossible. I started doubling up on my glasses for in order to read fine print. Yes, I looked dorky, but I had to put on 2 pairs of glasses to read such things (a woman had to do what a woman had to do).

As annoying as it was I didn’t panic. It made me think of the bouts of blurry vision I would have from time to time prior to keto eating. Some days my vision would be blurry and other days as clear as a bell. I couldn’t understand why the large fluctuations in vision, but being the analytical type I decided to track what I ate, where I went and whatever else might be influencing the changes in my vision.

What I had noticed was I would fluctuate from eating very low carb on some days and not so on other days. Some days I’d eat one meal a day that consisted of a huge salad and other days I ate more frequently with more traditional foods. My traditional foods were still low in carb, but I guess with the additional meals it added up to enough carbs that would modify my vision accordingly. I couldn’t figure out how or why the carbs were affecting my vision, but drastic reductions in carbs seemed to be the cause of blurriness. Before you ask, no I’m not diabetic.  BTW, being outdoors seems to be good for vision (at least in my case).

Enduring the Blurred Vision while LCHF

I Can See Again

As I said earlier, I didn’t panic. Logically, I couldn’t see how cutting down on something that the body doesn’t really need much of could injure my body. It just made me realize that my body had become more addicted to carbs than I had originally thought. So, I continued eating LCHF and endured the blurry vision. Then, one day about a month into my ketogenic lifestyle, my vision seemed to clear up. It was like someone cleaned the computer screen and all the fuzzy edges were gone. I still need to use reading glasses, but now they seem to be the right strength. My vision has returned to what it was a little over a month ago before the month-long LCHF induced blurriness.

When my vision cleared I decided to test my urine ketones. I know it is not the most effective way of determining my state of ketosis, but it was all I had. When I first started my low-carb, high-fat way of eating, I tested my ketones using the Fat Smack urine test strip and was alarmed at first. My ketone level was at the highest it could be. The test strip looked neon purple! I thought I was doing something to ruin my liver and kidneys. However, on further investigation, I realized my body was not fat adapted.

Ketone Test StripsWhile I was eating low carb high fat, my body was doing its thing in learning how to use fat and ketones for fuel instead of glucose. Initially, the body hadn’t made the necessary modifications to properly utilize the ketones so many of them were being flushed out in my urine, hence the neon purple test strip. Now, several weeks later (about a month and a half), my body has begun to put the proper mechanisms in place to utilize the ketones. Thus, there are fewer ketones being released and flushed out in my urine. I know I’m still in ketosis because I’m careful of the foods that I eat, but as I’ve learned, the further along you go on the ketogenic journey, the less reliable the urine test strips become.

This go around my test strips told me my body wasn’t releasing as many ketones as it had in the beginning. In other words, I took it as my body being more fat adapted. The ketone test strip was in a more acceptable range. During that process, I believe my eyes had become fat adapted too (if there is such a thing).

Still Making Keto Adjustments

I don’t have this ketogenic thing down pat as yet. My hubby took a week and a half off from work and although we didn’t eat many carbs, we still ate too much food and yes, drank too much. Vodka may not have any carbs and neither does club soda, but the body will stop burning all other fuel sources until it burns the alcohol off first. Alcohol is a toxin and it wants to get rid of it. In the meanwhile, all other fuel consumed gets stored whether it’s fat or carbs. Hence, my stagnant weight loss.

Burrata

Delicious Low Carb Burrata

Bloody MaryOk, there was the occasional Bloody Mary 😉

From what I’ve learned, carb-less alcohols such as vodka and tequila do not take you out of ketosis, but they will stop weight loss. Added to that, we ate out at restaurants maybe twice a day. Even though we selected low carb, high-fat meals (well, actually, we had the chef modify the meals to ditch the carbs and double up on the veggies), I’m sure the sauces were not strictly ketogenic. So, weight loss for me has stalled.

Fortunately for me, he’s back to work and I’m back to preparing all our meals and ditching the vodka. I’m also back to my daily exercise routine which took a major hit while he was home from work.Homemade Fritatta

Homemade Frittata

Hmm, just got me to thinking. Let’s see if my vision blurs again as I go back on my strict ketogenic way of eating. Only time will tell. If it does, I’ll make notes here. Honestly, I think I’m over the blurry vision hump, but I’ll check back in a couple of weeks to let you know if it returned.

It’s all about the journey!

9/6/17 Update:  No more blurry vision! It seems that my vision has returned to what it was prior to starting keto eating.  Hooray!

Necessary Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional therefore I am not and cannot give medical advice. I’m just sharing my story.

About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Eyes, Low Carb, Weight
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • ANDREW November 29, 2017, 1:39 am

    Thanks for the blog, I have been on Keto for a week now and have been experiencing blurred vision, this freaked me out. There is not much info on this online, to read your blog reassures me that I will eventually recoup. I never had any vision problems earlier, I am 48 years old, after the low carb diet I cannot focus on my eyes while using my phone or compute. I am a web designer and I need perfect vision to execute my work. Thank you so much for writing this, also please let me know if you have any other threads relating to this problem. Thanks again

    • Felicia November 29, 2017, 6:57 am

      Hi Andrew,

      I feel your pain. When my eyes started blurring I searched and searched to see if I could find anything online about it. Most of the information I found talked about vision and diabetics. I’m not a diabetic but was still concerned. I figured my vision blurriness had to do with going keto so I decided to ride it out. Boy, was it a rough go. It as especially weird wearing two pairs of reading glasses when in the past only one did the trick. It took about a month or so for things to clear up, but they did, thankfully.

      I work online quite a bit and understand your frustration. It takes a while for the body’s internal mechanisms to catch up with the carb adjustment. If the blurriness is really getting you down, increase your carbs and then very slowly reduce them again. Hang in there, things will get better.

      Sadly this is the only post on the keto blurry vision topic I have. It’s strictly from my own experience. As we both know, there isn’t a whole lot of easy-to-find information online about this condition. I’ll continue to search and if I find more, I’ll share the info.

  • Judy October 11, 2017, 7:37 pm

    I read this with great interest! I noticed my vision was becoming increasingly blurry. Only thing I was doing different was eating keto. I’ve been eating keto for a week and a half and noticed the vision problems first this past Sunday. As I was grocery shopping I noticed how hard it was to read the ingredients. I look far away and usually that refocuses my eyes. This time it didn’t, and I was scared! I cannot go much longer with this reduced vision! My job is dependent on me seeing tiny numbers and inputting them in a computer program! My carbs for pretty much the entire 10 days were under 20 grams. Most of the time, closer to 10! I think that might be a big cause of it. So I redid my macros to have a 10% carb intake instead of a 5%. Hopefully that will correct the problem. I have lost 8 pounds so far and 2 1/2″ off my waist! So hurray for that! Keto on!

    • Felicia October 11, 2017, 7:58 pm

      Hey Judy,

      First I want to say congrats on your weight loss and your reduction in inches. Keto has so many benefits, but I’m sure you’re aware of that.

      The blurry thing caught me off guard at first. I started to double up on my reading glasses in order to see as I had prior. Wearing two pair of glasses looked weird, but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do.

      My carb intake was about 20 grams a day. Some days less. I found that on the few days when I increased my carb intake above 20 grams, my vision improved. However, I had the sneaking suspicion that if I could ride out the blurry storm that eventually things would get back to normal. They did but it took me a few months. It could be because of my age, but I’m not sure.

      I’ve read that a drastic change in the blood sugar levels will cause a change in vision. From what I’ve read it stays that way until the body adapts. Not wanting to go in and out of ketosis to prolong the blurry vision episode, I tried my best to keep at 20 grams or below. It was trying at times (most of the time), but I believed there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

      In the end, the whole blurry vision episode was worth it. Recently I saw people that I hadn’t seen in years. One of my relatives kept asking me, “Are you holding your stomach in?” I wasn’t, but that tells me that the reduction in my waist circumference is noticeable. I have to thank keto for that. 🙂

      Your situation is different because you have to read small numbers. To be honest with you, sometimes I had to use a magnifying glass to read small numbers. I’m sure that’s not something you want to do on your job, but it does help.

      I believe reducing your carb intake slowly might prevent this. I’m not sure because I didn’t use the slow approach. I’m thinking that a slow reduction will give the body a chance to adapt. That way your vision might not temporarily tank.

      It’s going to be a balancing act for you. Eventually you’ll figure out the ratios that work for you. I’m very interested in your progress. Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going.

Leave a Comment

Before Commenting Keep This in Mind: Since this blog is for people about people, please use a “people” name when leaving a comment. If you don’t want to use your own name, that’s ok. Anonymous works just fine also. 🙂 All spam comments are deleted.