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Teen Goes Blind on Extreme Junk Food Diet

He developed nutritional optic neuropathy.

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A teenager in England suffered vision loss after living on a diet made up largely of french fries and potato chips, according to a new medical report.

The 17-year-old had damage from malnutrition and serious vitamin deficiencies, the BBC reports.

He’d seen a doctor at age 14 for fatigue and was diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency. He was told to take supplement, but he failed to follow the doctor’s orders and did not move to a healthier diet, according to the medical report that appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The case was examined by clinician scientists from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital.

The boy experienced progressive vision loss and eventually ended up at Bristol Eye Hospital.

Dr. Denize Atan, lead author of the study, was quoted saying, “His diet was essentially a portion of chips from the local fish and chip shop every day.”

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“He also used to snack on crisps – Pringles – and sometimes slices of white bread and occasional slices of ham, and not really any fruit and vegetables,” Atan said.

The boy had an “aversion to certain textures of food,” according to the doctor.

It was discovered that he was lacking not only in B12 but also in other nutrients, including vitamin D, copper and selenium. He was described as a “fussy eater” and found to have avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder.

Because of nutritional optic neuropathy, his sight had deteriorated to the point that he could be registered as blind, according to the BBC. Atan said he had blind spots in the middle of his vision, but retained peripheral vision.

The vision loss was described as permanent.

“The researchers concluded that the patient’s junk food diet and limited intake of nutritional vitamins and minerals resulted in the onset of nutritional optic neuropathy,” according to a press release from the University of Bristol. “They suggest the condition could become more prevalent in future, given the widespread consumption of ‘junk food’ at the expense of more nutritious options, and the rising popularity of veganism if the vegan diet is not supplemented appropriately to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.”

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Read more at the BBC

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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LASIK Should Be Banned, Says FDA Adviser

He regrets voting to approve the treatment.

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A retired U.S. Food and Drug Administration adviser says LASIK eye surgery should be removed from the market.

Morris Waxler voted to approve to treatment, but now wishes he hadn’t, CBS News reports. He has re-examined the data.

“Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years,” he told CBS.

His analysis suggests that 10 percent to 30 percent of patients experience complications. He asked the FDA in 2011 to issue a voluntary recall of the treatment, but the FDA declined to do so.

The FDA recently told CBS that it “has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices.”

CBS News quoted several patients saying they’d been harmed by LASIK.

Abraham Rutner, for example, said that he had double vision and that “around the lights [was] like having starbursts.” He notes, however, that his vision is improved by approximately 90 percent.

Experts say pre-surgical screening is crucial to avoiding LASIK complications.

The key lies in “knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure,” Dr. Jules Winokur told CBS News.

The FDA has issued an advisory on risks and how to find find the right doctor for LASIK.

Read more at CBS News

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Video: Adorable Cat Melts Hearts By Trying on Eyewear for Children

Kids see that ‘if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.’

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A rescue cat in Pennsylvania is getting attention for her role in making children feel comfortable with their eyeglasses.

Truffles happily wears brightly colored frames to set a good example for the young patients of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, the Daily Mail reports.

“If a child is feeling a bit nervous I ask Truffles if she wants to show them her glasses,” says Danielle Crull, owner of the business. “When they see Truffles wearing them it’s a really good thing and shows that if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.”

A video of the cat trying on eyewear has been viewed millions of times.

Watch the video:

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Several Eyecare Drugs in Short Supply, FDA Says

They include staple items.

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Thirteen ophthalmic drugs or products are currently in a state of shortage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They include solutions, ointments, emulsions, suspensions and injections, the American Optometric Association reports. Another four ophthalmic products were recently discontinued altogether.

The FDA claims in a new report that older, lower-cost drugs face supply troubles far more often than brand-name options, AOA reports. Among the ophthalmic drugs or products in shortage are staple items such as fluorescein strips and solutionsdilation dropsglaucoma medicationsantibiotics and antivirals.

According to AOA:

Published Oct. 29 by an FDA-convened inter-agency Drug Shortages Task Force, the report, “Drug Shortages: Root Causes and Potential Solutions,” analyzed 163 drugs that went into shortage from 2013 to 2017 and found the majority were “financially unattractive drugs” for manufacturers. Of the 163 drugs, 109 (67%) had generic versions on the market and had a median time since first approval of nearly 35 years. So many years off patent, these drugs sold for a median per unit price of only $8.73, the FDA notes.

AOA Chief Public Health Officer Michael Duenas, OD, said, “A doctor of optometry, in their public health role, should monitor services and needed supplies to determine that they are useful and accessible to all individuals within their community who may need that particular service or supply. Doctors of optometry are encouraged to report deficiencies to the AOA and agencies overseeing shortages, such as FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Drug Shortage Program at drugshortages@fda.hhs.gov.”

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