Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production of red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body, but are unable to do so properly if there are too few of them or if they are abnormally formed. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause red blood cells to become abnormally large, which can disrupt their ability to carry oxygen. If this happens, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, one of which is disturbed or blurred vision.
Disturbed or blurred vision can be caused be a number of things, some of which can be very serious.
If you experience any problems with your vision, it’s therefore important to seek medical attention.
According to medical website Healthline, when vitamin B12 deficiency is untreated, it can damage the optic nerve that leads to the eyes.
The damage can disrupt the nervous signal that travels from your eye to your brain, impairing your vision. This condition is known as optic neuropathy.
Luckily, vitamin B12 deficiency can normally be easily treated, and when treated most symptoms usually disappear.
Some health problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, however, can be irreversible if left untreated for a long time, so it’s important to be aware of symptoms early on.
Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are extreme tiredness, a lack of energy, mouth ulcers, a sore and red tongue, and pins and needles.
It can also cause muscle weakness, a pale yellow tinge to the skin and problems with memory.
Complications of untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can include neurological changes such as vision problems, memory loss, loss of physical coordination and damage to parts of the nervous system.
Untreated B12 deficiency can also sometimes lead to temporary infertility, and in some cases can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
“See your GP if you think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency,” said the NHS.
“It’s important for vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible because, although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible.”
Vitamin B12 deficiency is most commonly caused by pernicious anaemia – an autoimmune condition affecting the stomach, which stops the body from absorbing B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also be caused by a lack of the vitamin in your diet, in which case improving your diet can help to reverse symptoms.
Good sources of B12 include meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, yeast extract, soy products and fortified breakfast cereals.
In cases where deficiency is caused by pernicious anaemia, patients may need to have injections of the vitamin for the rest of their lives.