When you’re diagnosed with a vitamin B deficiency, you expect the ever-present fatigue, tingling sensation, and even mouth sores. What you might not expect, however, is the damage it does to your eyes.
Vitamin B produces red blood cells and nerve cells to give you energy, as well as myelin, a protective shield for your nerves. So without this vitamin, your nervous system weakens. The optic nerves in your eyes are no exception. If they are suffering from the deficiency, here’s how you might be able to tell:
1. You have blurred or dim vision. A deficiency in vitamins B2, B6, and B12 can lead to optic neuropathy (i.e., damage to the optic nerve). Since the optic nerve is the heart and soul of your eye, your vision starts to go if it isn’t fully functioning.
2. Your eyes itch, burn, or water. Vitamin B produces riboflavin—a strengthening substance. Since your body isn’t producing as much riboflavin as it should, your eyes don’t receive that extra “oomph” to ward off irritating particles and produce enough tears.
3. You have sensitive eyes. Riboflavin also helps your eyes withstand bright lights and quick changes in the climate. Without it, you likely prefer dimly lit rooms.
4. Your eyes twitch. A vitamin B deficiency causes fatigue and muscle shakiness. So if your eyelids twitch, you’re probably missing B2 and B6 vitamins.
5. You have cross-eyes. Vitamins B1 and B12 cause this. They do more than nourish your eyes; they produce myelin to strengthen the cranial nerves. So without the myelin, your eyes might struggle to move in sync.
6. You have pink eye. Pink eye is essentially inflammation of your eye—an infection that causes burning and itching, among other symptoms. Because you don’t produce as much riboflavin, your eyes won’t just burn and itch; they might also produce more mucous and bacteria.
It’s true that any of these symptoms can happen when you don’t suffer from a vitamin B deficiency. But if you experience any of them, it may be a sign that your deficiency is spreading to your vision (or that you are deficient, if you haven’t already been diagnosed).
What You Can Do
If you do have a vitamin deficiency, you and your eyes don’t have to suffer any longer. You can solve most of your problems by:
· Taking regular vitamin B shots. Depending on the severity of your deficiency, you can get a shot of this weekly, monthly—whatever works for you. You can’t overdose. Any little bit that you take helps.
· Eating more vitamin B-rich foods. This means more eggs, meat, fish, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, seafood—all the good stuff. Think protein, and think of it often.
· Getting your eyes checked. When in doubt, consult an eye doctor, not just a general physician. People with symptoms just like yours opt for an eye exam in Edmonton, Denver, New York, and all over the world to get advice from a specialist. While an optometrist won’t give you vitamin B shots directly, he can provide advice about taking B12 pills and eating eye-healthy foods.
So if you’ve struggled with eye problems, take heart. The cause of it may well be a vitamin B deficiency, and if it is, you have a say in how you feel. Don’t hesitate to meet with different doctors, and adjust your diet so you give your eyes—and the rest of your body—their best chance.
About The Author
Candice Harding enjoys writing about ways to improve specific areas of health, such as optic health, and is always looking for ideas to publish on her website, myredbicycle.com. She is single, lives in Phoenix, AZ, and loves riding her bike and exploring the outdoors. She recommends the Eyewear Place to anyone looking for a great optometrist in that area.