As a kid, you were probably tricked or forced to shove in broccolis in your mouth. No offense to parents, healthy means green leafy vegetables, especially good for the eyes. The thing is, TV stereotype or not, we don’t eat food we find disgusting because we lose our appetite. Study shows that losing appetite and eating disorders can be associated with vision impairment. Is there a correlation?
Correlation between appetite and sight
Research shows that anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders can affect your vision —thickness of the macula – drastically. Other findings show that loss of appetite can exacerbate the risk of people with a chronic disease such as diabetes that causes blurred vision. We’re about to find out later that aside from monitoring our food intake, women and men alike should be getting the best eye care in Arizona. Better late than never.
Anorexia & Bulimia: Sight by Sight
Anorexia and Bulimia are the two most common types of eating disorders. Both eating disorders may spring from a distorted body image. While people who suffer from anorexia painstakingly lessen their food intake to lose weight, people who have bulimia seem to have a big appetite, but they consume food quickly then purge or recklessly block weight gain.
In 2018, The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), a nonprofit organization that gives free comprehensive peer support services to those who have eating disorders, reveals that anorexia will develop in around 1% of all American women and bulimia in 1.5 of American women.
People with anorexia or anorexia nervosa resort to extremely unhealthy diets to lose weight. They limit their access to a balanced meal by consuming a single fitness bar or not eating at all for days on end. There are multiple factors to consider, such as fluid retention, undigested food, obsessive calorie tracking can lead to a weight loss plateau. The thing is, significant weight loss is targeted when the person suffering already looks malnourished. To make things worse, some try hard to sweat it out at the gym and faint or experience potentially damaging effects like vision impairment.
Bulimia is a binge eating disorder that is followed by purging. After eating beyond your limit, the person vomits afterward, whether self-induced or involving laxatives or diuretics. This display of purge behaviors serves as punishment or making up for all the overeating and guilty pleasures. Another category is the non-purging bulimia, wherein victims employ other remedial approaches, like exercising heavily without sufficient sustenance, diet pills, and overdosing on prescription drugs. Unlike people with anorexia nervosa, those with bulimia may sustain a normal weight or be overweight. Pressure from family members and medical history also contribute to the cycle.
How the nervosas affect the macula?
The macula is found near the center of the retina behind the eye and is responsible for excellent, detailed central vision and the comprehension of colors. A BMJ-British Medical Journal study more than a decade ago yielded that the macula with the retinal nerve fiber layer was notably thinner in the eyes of women with anorexia nervosa. It was also marked by reduced electrical activity. This electrical activity or technically known as dopamine neurotransmission, is a major component of the brain’s ability to dispense visual images.
For an even nuanced finding, the fovea located at the middle of the macula with plentiful photoreceptors was thinner in those women who had purging bulimia than those who had its less severe counterpart, non-purging bulimia.
What we know for a fact is that eating disorders can potentially disrupt our vision as it is a product of nutrient and vitamin deficiencies. The thinning of the macula and less dopamine neurotransmission isn’t the end all-be all sign of irreversible blindness, but it helps to take our diets seriously and consult retinal specialists.
From mostly teenage chronic diseases, vision loss and loss of appetite don’t only result from societal expectations and body image issues. Blurry vision, floating vision sports, and blindness? These are the later symptoms of diabetic retinopathy which can happen to anyone with diabetes, regardless of age. It is an eye complication that can lead to blindness in diabetic people. It affects the blood vessels in the retina.
The National Eye Institute recommends a comprehensive dilated eye exam annually for diagnosis. As aforementioned, blurry vision then vision loss is the later symptoms. None of the early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may emerge, yet. It’s important to stick by the saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” Diabetic macular edema can lead to other serious eye diseases, and this time, patients might no longer be able to delay or reverse visual loss.
It’s not enough to boost your appetite, take medication, and exercise regularly. In later stages of diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels in the retina begin to bleed, and you may see eye floaters in your sight. It’s highly advisable to receive treatment immediately, even if the spots go away momentarily. The bleeding can cause scarring.
A+ Eye Care & Treatment
Since a bulk of this conversation focuses on the retina, it’s crucial to get your medical professional right. There are different eye experts, and in this scenario, we look for retinal specialists. Their specialties include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, intraocular tumors, and retinal medical and surgical care.
Look for a world-renowned team of physicians who don’t only take into account their primary expertise. They are experienced doctors who care about their patients’ holistic well-being.
Your friendly Sun City West eye doctors don’t just examine and diagnose but also listen to patients’ feelings and stories. Sense of sight is very important to everyone who has it. The comfortable and positive experience of every patient is the utmost priority.
Eye Care Practice and Maintenance
Eating disorders and blurry vision can be addressed by starting a habit. Practice makes perfect so perfect the practice. If you constantly see dysmorphic images in your mirror, try not to look at it so much. Or, if you do, focus on what your body does for you instead of how it looks.
Eyecare is also being okay with what you see.
Eat your broccoli and other greens while finding ways to make them more palatable. Jog for a mile and listen to the beat of your heart and other organs. Pay attention to how your breath gets steadier and how you can run longer.
Verifying the association between the loss of appetite and loss of sight is only part of your body functions as a whole. If you are interested to discover how loss of appetite affects your sight or other senses, give Arizona Retinal Specialists a call. Set an appointment with our Sun City offices now.