Blurred vision and a headache after your exercise session can indicate some serious medical conditions. Exercise can sometimes trigger a migraine so consult your doctor if you are prone to migraines. Otherwise, seek immediate medical attention for blurred vision and headaches, especially if they are accompanied by dizziness or heart palpitations.
Exercising in very hot or humid weather and not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when you don’t sweat enough to lower your body temperature. Elderly people, infants and people who work outdoors are especially prone to heat stroke. In addition to headache and blurred vision, other symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat and a very high body temperature. Your skin will often feel hot and flushed, but not sweaty. Heat stroke can lead to long-term damage or death. Go immediately to the nearest emergency room if you experience any signs of heat stroke.
To prevent dehydration and heat stroke, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends drinking plenty of water before, during and after your exercise session. This is especially critical if you exercise outdoors or in a warm room. Schedule your outdoor workouts for cooler times of day, such as in the early morning or late evening. Choose lightweight, loose-fitting exercise attire in light colors.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure often has no symptoms so it is important to have regular blood pressure checks. Although regular exercise can keep your blood pressure under control, strenuous exercise – especially if your body is not accustomed to regular exercise -- can make uncontrolled high blood pressure worse. Headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, restlessness, shortness of breath and vomiting can result from damage to the kidney, heart, eyes or brain.
Strenuous exercise can cause the levels of glucose, or sugar, in your blood to drop to abnormally low levels. This can cause blurred vision, headaches, shakiness, excessive sweating, heart palpitations and fatigue. To avoid serious long-term effects, you will need to treat low blood sugar promptly. Schedule an appointment with your doctor so she can check for any underlying conditions that might contribute to your abnormal blood sugar levels. You can usually correct mild cases of exercise-induced hypoglycemia through diet and lifestyle changes.
- University Health Services Tang Center at UC Berkley: Guide to Managing Migraines
- Mayo Clinic: Dehydration
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Dehydration and Heat Stroke
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hypoglycemia
- Cedars Sinai Medical Center: High Blood Pressure
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Exercise's Effects on the Heart