The Grapevine

Teen Goes Blind After Eating Too Much Junk Food

A teen has reportedly gone blind because of eating fries, chips and junk food for years. His problems started when he went to see a doctor complaining of tiredness when he was only 14.

At 15, he developed hearing loss and vision difficulties. However, his MRI and eye exam results were normal that doctors can’t determine the root cause.

The teen’s vision worsened at age 17. His eye test revealed a 20/200 vision in both of his eyes, which indicated that he has become “legally blind”.

Additional examinations showed that the damage has progressed to the teen’s optic nerve, the group of fibers at the back of the eye connecting it to the brain. Also, the teen suffered from low levels of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, copper and selenium.

The findings lead the doctors to ask him about his diet. The patient confessed that since elementary, he wouldn’t eat certain types of food, wrote the authors from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom in their report.

He said he only ate fries, Pringles, white bread, processed ham and sausages.

The teen was diagnosed with nutritional optic neuropathy, a damage to the optic nerves from under nourishment. The disorder can also be induced by drugs, alcohol abuse, malabsorption of food or poor diet.

The authors said that purely dietary causes for such condition are rare in developed countries.

According to the University of Iowa, vitamins such as the vitamin B complex is essential for cellular respiration. A scarce amount of these vitamins in the body can cause metabolic byproducts to accumulate and eventually damage nerve cells.

It is possible to cure vision loss due to optic neuropathy, however, the teen’s blindness was already permanent when he was diagnosed.

His vision was severely impaired that it cannot be corrected with the use of glasses, said Dr. Denize Atan, lead author and a consultant senior lecturer in ophthalmology at Bristol Medical School and Bristol Eye Hospital.

The teen was given nutritional supplements to prevent any further problems with his vision and was referred to mental health services for his eating disorder.

The teen’s diet was very restrictive, which caused him several nutritional deficiencies, and that it was more than just being a picky eater, the researchers said.

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