To see or not to see is the question

BANGALORE: If you are a strict vegetarian and experiencing blurred vision or double vision problems, then its a time to consult your ophthalmologist as you might be at a risk for facing Vitami

Published: 11th January 2012 12:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:12 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: If you are a strict vegetarian and experiencing blurred vision or double vision problems, then its a time to consult your ophthalmologist as you might be at a risk for facing Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Eye specialists have been witnessing a sudden spike in the number of young patients especially vegetarians complaining of blurry vision or double vision. This has become a growing cause for concern for the specialists who says that deficiency of Vitamin B12 is going unnoticed.

“In the past one year, we have received as many as 35 patients who complained of a vision problem. Surprisingly, a significant number of them were pure vegetarians and leading a stressful life.

However,  on detecting the deficiency of B12 with B12 Assay, we found that all of them suffered from hampered vision.  Their optic nerve was showing decrease response consequently we could co-relate the issue with B12 deficiency’’,  said Dr Rohit Shetty, vice chairman, Narayana Nethralaya.

He also added that if such problems are not detected at an early stage, it will lead to partial blindness. The best sources for vitamin 12 lie is meat.

However strict vegetarian people who do not even consume dairy products are at greater risks as this deficiency mostly occurs in vegetarians.

Dr Minija CK, consultant medical retinal and uvea, Sankara Eye Hospital, says many people with deteriorating vision are seeking nutritional therapy as a successful alternative to conventional

medicine or surgery.   

“Vegetarians maybe at a risk of facing deficiencies caused by dietary reasons, since the only confirmed source for vitamin B12 intake is meat. However to meet this requirement, patients will have to take Vitamin B12 supplements.

“We often come across patients with optic neuropathy whom we supplement with Vitamin B12. Explaining the case Dr Minija further says, “A 45-year-old male who was on treatment for chronic alcoholism and anaemia secondary to it,  had developed an optic neuropathy  issue and noticed a subsequent drop in central vision. His peripheral nerves were also affected. After consulting with the neurologist, he was soon started on Vitamin B12 injections. His neuropathy improved and he regained his vision shortly.’’

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