As it is traditionally popular that junk food is unhealthy and can cause heart and weight-related problems. Well, it is the right time to break it to you that the horrors don’t stop there. According to a recent case, a teenager is now legally blind due to his unhealthy eating habits.
According to an article in the medical journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”, poor diet can have an adverse effect on the nervous system, particularly the vision.
The teenager mentioned in the case started having problems at the age of 14. The initial symptoms were related to tiredness. The blood tests carried at that time showed that the teen was deficient in vitamin B12 and iron. Therefore, he was treated with Vitamin B12 injections along with the proper diet advice.
Just after a year, at the age of 15, the kid started having some serious issues. He started complaining about the loss of hearing and vision. The MRI and eye exams were clear, which left doctors in a worrisome state as they couldn’t seem to find the actual reason behind it.
The next two years turned out to be the worst for the teenager’s vision, as it started getting progressively worse. At the age of 17, eye tests reported that the kid’s vision was 20/200 (considered legally blind in the United States).
When further tests were carried out, it was evident that the teen’s optic nerve (the nerve that connects the eyes to the brain) was seriously damaged. Furthermore, the kid also lacked Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Selenium, and Copper.
Wrong Eating Habits
These deficiencies forced the doctors to inquire about the kid’s eating habits. To which the patient replied, he was reluctant to eat certain types of foods with specific textures. He further confessed that the only things he consumed were fries, chips (pringles), sausages, white bread, and processed ham slices.
After ruling out the other causes, the doctors reached one conclusion. The optical neuropathy (damage to the optic nerve) is due to the nutritional deficiencies or in other words due to junk food.
It is often common to reverse the damage to vision if caused by nutritional deficiencies; however, in this particular case, the kid was diagnosed, the vision loss was permanent. Further, wearing glasses or contacts would have no effect because of the damage to the optic nerve, stated by the doctors at Bristol Medical School and Bristol Eye Hospital.
The teen was immediately prescribed supplements to prevent any further loss. Moreover, he was referred to mental health services under the case of “eating disorder”. The researchers claim that the kid’s case was not only related to picky eating but more than that!
The new diagnosis is known as “avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder,” which is a special type of eating disorder that makes a person avoid foods with a certain type of texture, color, etc. This condition starts at a very early age of a kid, with normal body mass index (BMI) just how it happened with this particular kid.