These two Vitamin deficiencies can lead to vision loss

Similarly, vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in vision loss.

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Last Updated on December 13, 2023 by The Health Master

These two Vitamin deficiencies can lead to vision loss

The role of vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that facilitate the healthy functioning of the body.

From helping to combat infections to increasing our bone strength to regulating our brain and hormonal functions, nutrients play a very important role in maintaining our overall wellness.

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Services (NHS), vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy.

“Most people should get all the nutrients they need by having a varied and balanced diet, although some people may need to take extra supplements,” the health body states.

Vitamin deficiencies may give rise to various health problems

In total, your body requires 13 essential vitamins, which you can get from different food sources.

Each vitamin has a different set of roles to play, which is why vitamin deficiencies can cause different health challenges and cause various symptoms.

Vitamin deficiency in general means low levels or insufficient amounts of vitamins in the body.

It can manifest in the form of several symptoms ranging from fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and irritability to loss of bone density, easy or frequent bruising, and skin color changes.

Furthermore, being deficient in certain vitamins also predisposes you to various infections and illnesses, including depression.

Vision loss could be a negative outcome of two vitamin deficiencies

Experts believe being deficient in vitamin A and B12 may affect eyesight, causing vision loss if left untreated.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vitamin A deficiency contributes to blindness by making the cornea very dry, thus damaging the retina and cornea.

“An estimated 250 000–500 000 children who are vitamin A-deficient become blind every year, and half of them die within 12 months of losing their sight,” highlights the global health agency.

Similarly, vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in vision loss.

Given that vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient necessary for the function and development of brain and nerve cells, insufficiency of the same can lead to optic neuropathy, “a rare complication of this deficiency that results in progressive, bilateral, painless vision loss that is often associated with reduced color vision,” as per the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.

That said, it is vital to get yourself tested immediately for the same.

Signs you have low levels of vitamin A

As per the WHO, night blindness is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency, which is prevalent among children.

Other symptoms include infection, xerophthalmia – a condition where the eyes become very dry – skin irritation, stunted growth, fertility problems, and more.

The primary reasons for vitamin A deficiency are not getting enough vitamin A in the body or having an underlying condition that stops the body from absorbing or utilizing vitamin A effectively.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to other complications

According to the NHS, here are some tell-tale signs of vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • – A pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • – A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
  • – Mouth ulcers
  • – Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • – Changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • – Disturbed vision
  • – Irritability and depression
  • – Changes in the way you think, feel, and behave
  • – A decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding, and judgment (dementia)

Ways to achieve vitamin A and B12 sufficiency

As per the NHS, cheese, eggs, oily fish, fortified low-fat spreads, milk, yogurt, and liver products are some of the best food sources of vitamin A.

“You can also get vitamin A by including good sources of beta-carotene in your diet, as the body can convert this into retinol,” the UK health agency adds.

Yellow, red, and green (leafy) vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers, and yellow fruit, such as mango, papaya, and apricots are good sources of beta-carotene.

As far as vitamin B12 is concerned, you can get sufficient amounts of it through animal food products like beef, pork, ham, poultry, lamb, fish (tuna and haddock), seafood like shellfish and crab, and dairy products like eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

How to know if you have low vitamin levels in the body

The best way to find out if you have vitamin deficiencies is through a blood test. Although you can also get a saliva test, blood tests are more accurate and reliable.

If you develop any symptoms or signs of vitamin deficiencies, visit your nearest hospital and get yourself diagnosed. Talk to your physician about your diet and whether or not you should resort to supplements.

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