Teen nearly loses vision after refusing to eat anything except chips, chicken, cola and bread for 7 years.
When Kerry Moore’s 13-year-old son, Cian, started to complain of problems with his eyes she became worried. He complained of grittiness, and his eyes we’re often irritated. Then, horrifyingly, he started losing his sight.
Mysteriously, despite visiting ophthalmologists, paediatricians, and hospitals they found no answers as to why the high-school student should be suddenly going blind.
Eventually their search for answers led them to the office of Professor Stephanie Watson, an ophthalmologist. Professor Watson had no trouble diagnosing the condition - she’d seen it a lot in Kenya.
Cian had a vitamin A deficiency.
While food shortages in developing countries means access to vitamin A can be difficult, it happens in wealthy countries when parents give in to their children’s fussy eating habits.
‘It's associated with a bit of food faddiness where kids might not like food textures and tastes so they end up with this incredibly bland diet,’ Professor Watson, chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists [RANZCO] public health committee told Fairfax Media.
‘We need a certain amount of vitamin A and without it the cells don't mature normally.’
While it’s common for kids between the age of four to six to develop pickiness around food, it’s important for parents to remain vigilant and encourage variety in their kids diets.
Cian was lucky that with immediate treatment he was able to stop the damage. While his vision in his right eye should recover, there is permanent damage to his left eye.
One thing is for sure - he certainly eats his veggies now.