A teenager goes deaf and blind for eating unhealthy junk food

An unnamed youngster from Bristol has been left blind and deaf at the age of 14 as he began to avoid fruits, vegetables, and other foods at the age of 7 just because he didn’t like the smell and texture and was living off only on chips, Pringles, sausages and white bread, his mother says. Now that guy is about 19 years old suffering from an eating disorder ARFID (avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder).

His family reported this case in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine to make people aware of this eating disorder and make them realize that a healthy diet is very beneficial to avoid any eye problem or hearing issues.

It said: ‘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. It is rare in developed countries. The condition is potentially reversible if caught early. But if left untreated, it leads to permanent blindness.’

Shocking but Rare Findings

After feeling tired most often, the unnamed guy had gone to the doctor to find the real cause. Being a “fussy eater”, tests found that the boy had a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Moreover, he was also diagnosed with a disease associated with the larger amount of red blood cells than normal known as macrocytic anemia.

His doctor, Dr. Denize Atan reported, “His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day. He also used to snack on crisps – Pringles – and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not any fruit and vegetables.

“He explained this as an aversion to certain textures of food that he really could not tolerate, and so chips and crisps were really the only types of food that he wanted and felt that he could eat,”

According to the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from Bristol Eye Hospital said that the unnamed teenager was given injections to improve the deficiency of vitamin B12. He was also given dietary advice to overcome malnutrition and sent home. But he didn’t improve his diet and carried out the treatment patiently. So, when he returned to the doctor after one year because his eyesight was constantly deteriorating and he was on the verge of being deaf. The young man was reexamined; he was diagnosed with the deficiency of essential nutrients and vitamins, causing a condition known as nutritional optic neuropathy.

What are the doctors saying?

Doctors said that it is impossible to recover the loss as the condition remained undiagnosed for many years and now it was too late.

“We couldn’t believe it when we were told what had happened,” his mother said. “His sight went downhill very fast – to the point where he is now legally blind. We are told the damage is irreversible; it’s been a nightmare.

“He has no social life to speak of now. After leaving school he got into college to do a course in IT but he had to give it up because he could not see or hear anything.”

The young teenager was still living off the same food however some of the deficiencies were improved only by supplements due to which he was alive. So, it is important to care about nutritional values beneficial for your health otherwise eating too much-processed foods may lead to a lot of life-threatening diseases.




Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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