Medicine

Teenager left blind after living off diet of crisps and chips

Teenager left blind after living off diet of crisps and chips

A teenage boy has gone blind after living on a diet of Pringles, fries, plain white bread, and occasional processed meat. And by the age of 17, he was declared legally blind - a blindness that later tests showed came about because of copper and vitamin D deficiency.

Doctors prescribed him nutritional supplements to treat his deficiencies and was referred to mental health services for his eating disorder.

When he was 17, the boy, who has not been identified, was seen by specialists at Bristol Eye Hospital because of his deteriorating sight.

The boy had shunned fruit and vegetables in favour of the starch-based snacks, supplemented by white bread, processed ham and sausages.

The risks for poor cardiovascular health, obesity, and cancer associated with junk food consumption are well known, but poor nutrition can also permanently damage the nervous system, particularly vision. But as things stood, by age 14 the teen developed chronic fatigue, hearing loss and vision problems.

"He had blind spots right in the middle of his vision", said Dr. Atan, the BBC reported. The condition is extremely rare in developed countries - it's believed to be the first case ever recorded in the United Kingdom. If caught early, it is reversible, but it can lead to permanent optic nerve damage and blindness if left untreated.

'Fussy eater' (17) left blind and deaf after diet of chips, sausages and crisps
British Teenager Goes Blind After Only Eating Junk Food

"Fussy eating that is restricted to junk foods and causes multiple nutritional deficiencies is an eating disorder". His doctor gave him some vitamin B12 injections to treat low levels of the vitamin and suggested some dietary changes.

The next year, he began to experience hearing and vision disturbances, but doctors were unable to find a clear cause.

Dr Denize Atan, of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, who co-authored the report published in Annals of Internal Medicine, and treated the patient, said there is a lack of awareness among healthcare professionals and the public about the link between poor diet and sight loss.

"Nutritional optic neuropathy is usually caused by a deficiency of B-complex vitamins (thiamine, B12, etc.)", Randy McLaughlin, an optometrist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. If left unchecked, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to optic neuropathy, progressive, painless vision loss often associated with reduced color vision, as well as other odd conditions.

"Nutrition does not just depend on how much you eat but what you eat and this case illustrates that fact".

"Hence, high-energy diets correlate with high BMI, low socioeconomic status, and poor health". Offering advice to anyone concerned, Dr Atan states that, "It's best not to be anxious about picky eating, and instead calmly introduce one or two new foods with every meal", and he also emphasised that "Nutritional yeast is a way of adding B12 to your diet".

More news: Android 10 Starts Rolling Out To Pixel Devices Today!


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