A new case study from the University of Bristol reports that poor diet of a young patient led him to blindness. The researchers who performed the examination of the case recommend considering nutritional optic neuropathy in patients with vision symptoms impossible to explain in combination with a poor diet.
In this case, a teenage patient was a “fussy eater” with a normal body mass index and height and had no visible signs of malnutrition. He also didn’t take any medication. Tests showed low levels of vitamin B12. Starting from the secondary school, the patient ate a limited diet of chips. Crisps, white bread, and processed pork. By the time the doctors managed to diagnose his condition, the patient had become permanently blind.
Lead study author Dr. Denize Atan, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology at Bristol Medical School and Clinical Lead for Neuro-ophthalmology at Bristol Eye Hospital, comments: “Our vision has such an impact on the quality of life, education, employment, social interactions, and mental health. This case highlights the impact of diet on visual and physical health, and the fact that calorie intake and BMI are not reliable indicators of nutritional status.”