Teen Goes Blind From Eating Hot Chips, White Bread And Pringles

Grant Boone
September 4, 2019

While the family wish to remain unnamed, they have agreed for the case to be reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine to raise awareness of ARFID, as well as the importance of nutrition for good eye and ear health. Tests showed he was anaemic with low vitamin B12 levels.

They also recommended the teen seek mental illness help for the extreme behavior as a result of his being a "fussy" eater. But a year later, he has begun to lose his vision.

After two years of progressive vision loss, the boy was declared legally blind. He was referred to the Bristol Eye Hospital when he saw a specialist in neuro-ophthalmology. He was diagnosed with anemia and a deficiency in vitamin B12, along with copper, selenium and vitamin D. Atan gave the boy B12 injections and told him he'd have to start eating a more varied diet.

"It's also worth noting that since 2016 the United Kingdom government has recommended daily vitamin D supplementation (10 micrograms/400 worldwide units) for everyone between October and March as we are not likely to get enough from fortified foods", McManamon said. That was when the teenager admitted to avoiding foods with certain textures since elementary school. 'He had a daily portion of fries from the local chip shop and snacked on Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices and sausage, ' she said.

Despite being given nutritional supplements to treat his deficiencies, his sight did not improve.

"The link between poor nutrition and vision has been known about for quite some time, at least among specialists in neuro-ophthalmology".

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Doctors investigated and found the boy suffered several bone, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The condition causes hypersensitivity to the texture and taste of many foods, which caused some of the teen's early dietary habits, doctors said. Doctors also informed the boy that the blindness was permanent.

Gary Frost, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the research, told CNN it is incredibly rare for someone in the United Kingdom to have a diet so limited it results in micronutrient deficiencies.

At least one scientist isn't so sure poor diet alone is to blame for the blindness.

In developed countries it is mostly caused by bowel problems or medication that interferes with the absorption of nutrients, and it is rarely caused entirely by poor diet because food is readily available.

In some places, malnutrition caused by poverty, war and drought is linked to higher rates of nutritional optic neuropathy, according to a statement. The vitamin, found mainly in fish, meat, dairy, and eggs, is crucial for brain function as well as forming red blood cells, new DNA, proteins, hormones, and fats.

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