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Potassium Deficiency & Peripheral Vision

Potassium Deficiency & Peripheral Vision


Potassium plays an important role in the health and function of your heart and other muscles, as well as organs and cells throughout your body. The average adult requires around 4,700 mg of potassium daily, and if you consume less than this amount, you have a risk for deficiency. Knowing if symptoms, such as changes in your peripheral vision, could indicate a potassium deficiency may help you discover and seek treatment for your condition.

Deficiency Symptoms

Low potassium, also known as hypokalemia, may cause symptoms such as fatigue, stomach upset and an irregular heartbeat, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. In many cases, hypokalemia does not result from poor dietary intake of potassium, but as a result of losing potassium through urine or intestinal problems. Low potassium levels will not typically affect vision.

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Dietary Sources

If you have low potassium levels, your doctor may recommend increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods. A baked potato with skin provides over 900 mg of potassium, and a medium-sized banana contains 422 mg, reports the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Other dietary sources include plums, raisins, lima beans, artichokes and spinach.

Peripheral Vision

If you have changes to your side vision, you should contact your eye doctor immediately. Eye conditions that affect your peripheral vision, or side vision, can result from problems concerning your optic nerve, such as glaucoma. This condition stems from a high intraocular pressure, but this condition typically takes many years for you to notice changes to your side vision. A retinal detachment may cause a sudden loss of side vision, and you may also notice many new floaters or flashes of light. Other conditions that affect your peripheral vision include neurological conditions, such as a stroke or concussion.


A potassium deficiency can result in serious, life-threatening conditions, and if you suspect a low level, you should contact your doctor immediately. She may recommend that you take potassium supplements while she determines if your diet or a health condition caused the deficiency. At the same time, changes in your straight-ahead or peripheral vision require immediate evaluation from your eye doctor. This will help to protect your eyes from permanent vision loss.


January 31, 2011 at 2:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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