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Thread: Eyesight

  1. #1
    escarmalanes's Avatar
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    Default Eyesight

    Since becoming vegan my eyesight seems to have detioriated, just a coincidence?

    Anyone have any suggestions for what I may be missing in my diet?

    Thanks for your help.

    Matt

  2. #2
    steven1222
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    It depends on how long you have been vegan. If it is less than a few months, it must be a coincidence. If it is longer, then the only thing I can think of is that you might not be getting enough vitamin A. The human body makes vitamin A from beta carotene, which is found in some yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.

  3. #3
    escarmalanes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote steven1222 View Post
    It depends on how long you have been vegan. If it is less than a few months, it must be a coincidence. If it is longer, then the only thing I can think of is that you might not be getting enough vitamin A. The human body makes vitamin A from beta carotene, which is found in some yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
    Think I get plenty of those, so probably just a combination of age and too much time in front of screen at work. Thanks Steven

  4. #4
    Rentaghost Marrers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Not sure how old you are but my eyesight has deteriorated since I hit 40 and most people I know of a similar age have noticed the same thing, regardless of diet.
    Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything. - Floyd Dell

  5. #5

    Default Re: Eyesight

    sounds like a coincidence but check with your optician. I have been vegan 17 years and only this year had problems with my eyes but then I am in my forties and stare at computer screens all day!
    'Spring will soon pounce [like a floppy kitten]'. Whalespace.

  6. #6
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    It could be a coincindence, but worth asking your eye doctor about it. I've had bad eyes since my early 20's and I've only been a vegan for 4 years.

    I first noticed problems with my eyes when I was about 20, but put off getting glasses until I was 26

  7. #7

    Default Re: Eyesight

    Coincidence.
    context is everything

  8. #8
    John's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    I don't know about you but my eyesight is the same as it was eight years ago, or as long as I can definitely remember.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Well I've had problems with my eyes for the last four years (been vegan 3 years), but mines purely coincidential. My eyes aren't *that* bad, but one eye is about 60% strength and focus of the other because, as the optician put it, it is "rugby-ball-shaped" and will get worse throughout my life. I don't think it's anything to do with my diet though.

  10. #10
    Va'amish Heartsease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    I have a very slight prescription for glasses but only have to use my glasses when I am tired. Sure, it could be coincidence...but just because we all know that a vegan diet can be fantastically healthy does not mean that you (or anyone else on this forum) could not be deficient in some nutrient or other since we have little control over the nutritional value of the foods we buy (owing to soil quality, delay in getting food from 'field to table' etc.).

    If my eyesight can deteriorate quite quickly when I'm feeling 'run down' then it's possible that you could too? Not because you're vegan but because you eat from the same 'food bowl' as the rest of the world.

    Blueberries are supposed to be good for the eyes.
    "You can discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation" ~ Plato

  11. #11
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote bryzee86 View Post
    Well I've had problems with my eyes for the last four years (been vegan 3 years), but mines purely coincidential. My eyes aren't *that* bad, but one eye is about 60% strength and focus of the other because, as the optician put it, it is "rugby-ball-shaped" and will get worse throughout my life. I don't think it's anything to do with my diet though.
    I have the rugby ball shaped thing too! I think it is called a stigmatism? Anyway as many of you are aware I wear glasses and my eyesight is deteriorating at an astounding rate. I'm going up three points of the glasses strentgh scale each year. My dad and mum both wear glasses, but they are in their early 50's/60s and my eyes are catching up in the sense of lack of sight at rather quick pace. This was happening long before I went vegan and even vegetarian.
    There is nothing I can do about it whatsoever so I have just learnt to accept that if it keeps going on at this rate I'll be semi blind by the time I'm 45. I'd rather be blind than deaf, because afterall what would life be without music?
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote emzy1985 View Post
    I have the rugby ball shaped thing too! I think it is called a stigmatism?
    ooh nearly: it's an astigmatism.

    Quote emzy1985 View Post
    There is nothing I can do about it whatsoever so I have just learnt to accept that if it keeps going on at this rate I'll be semi blind by the time I'm 45. I'd rather be blind than deaf, because afterall what would life be without music?
    I used to think this, but having lived with a partially blind partner, who is so frightened about losing her sight, the thought of being blind absolutely scares me.

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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote escarmalanes View Post
    Since becoming vegan my eyesight seems to have detioriated, just a coincidence?
    As long as you're eating a good range of fruits and vegetables there's no reason why your diet should be causing deterioration in your eyesight. If you're really worried, you could get an eye test done.

  14. #14
    yum! angelamc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    I also have a rugby ball eye.
    My eyesight has been about the same since I became vegan. The longer you wait to get glasses the worse your eyesight can become. So if it's been a while since you became ve]gan, it might seem like your deteriorating sight is related but it could just be time. Does that make sense?

  15. #15
    yum! angelamc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Sorry my posts keep ending up with weird typos and getting edited. Captain Bun Bun keeps trying to help me type!!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote emzy1985 View Post
    as many of you are aware I wear glasses and my eyesight is deteriorating at an astounding rate. I'm going up three points of the glasses strentgh scale each year.
    Are you short-sighted? I am (also got astigmatism in my left eye) and my eyesight deteriorated rapidly in my teens and twenties, but now I'm 41, the deterioration has stopped. My last eye test showed minimal changes with the one two years previous, not enough to warrant new glasses. Opticians have told me that I should be ok for my forties and fifties, then become long-sighted... Maybe it will be the same for you? Hope so, loss of any sense isn't much fun.

  17. #17
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Hi escarmalanes,

    Optic nerve functions depend on vitamin B-12 and folate (but eyesight is also dependent on a lot of other nutrients). Vegan food normally contain less B12 than standard food, and standard food normally contain less folate than vegan food. IMO your reduced eyesight could have a number of reasons, which include low B12 levels (and to our non-vegan visitors: it doesn't help to stop eating vegan, because non-vegans often have deficiencies that are less common among vegans)...

    (Read more about why you possibly are B12 deficient here: 50 ways to develop B12 deficiency)

    The missing 77,998 blind vegans: B12 & eyesight

    As you can see in these randomly selected links, almost all the nutrients mentioned that are known to be beneficial for eyesight are nutrients that animal products are known to have low or no amounts of whatsover (like antioxidants/vitamin C...)

    http://www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups...ition_eye.hcsp

    http://www.eyecaresource.com/health/eye-vitamins/

    http://www.eyetopics.com/articles/18...pplements.html

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...76/ai_90749852

    http://www.eyedoctorguide.com/eye_ca...naturally.html

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Improving-...erbs&id=901261


    Here's an interesting article about eyesight and phytochemicals (again, only found in plants):

    Fruit and vegetable ultra-concentrates rich in dietary phytochemicals


    And finally, a little info about lutein, one of the antioxidants often mentioned when eyesight is discussed:
    -a powerful antioxidant and one of two carotenoids found in the eye. These yellow pigments are believed to filter out harmful blue light and protect against age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 65
    -more resistant to cooking than other carotenoids, it's also associated with decreased lung cancer risk.
    I've read that eyesight (and toothache!) apparently are the two 'diseases' that are most common / most people have experienced, but still, even if hundreds of millions start using glasses at some point, some people will think that if a vegan buys a pair of glasses, it's because of his diet. This will of course change when more people are vegan, but until then we have to live with the fact that due to the low numbers of vegans and vegetarians, many people (including veg*ns) may fear that if something is 'wrong' with them, it's because they don't eat meat or drink cow's milk! I'm pretty sure that if we would use a hidden camera and visit one hundred non-vegan doctors (doctors using glasses) and tell them that we are vegans and may need glasses, lots of them would start to think of the vegan diet as the reason, but if they would have 100 non-vegan clients that said that they needed glasses, they wouldn't think of all the nutrients (that are known to be good for eyesight) that non-vegans often have too low levels of.

  18. #18
    Metal Head emzy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote AnneCE View Post
    Are you short-sighted? I am (also got astigmatism in my left eye) and my eyesight deteriorated rapidly in my teens and twenties, but now I'm 41, the deterioration has stopped. My last eye test showed minimal changes with the one two years previous, not enough to warrant new glasses. Opticians have told me that I should be ok for my forties and fifties, then become long-sighted... Maybe it will be the same for you? Hope so, loss of any sense isn't much fun.
    Yes I am short sighted. Hmmmm well hopefully that is the case...yay if it is!!
    The taste of anything in my mouth for 5 seconds does not equate to the beauty and complexity of life.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Eyesight

    I'd say it was a coincidence.

    I've been vegan nearly 25 years and my eyesight has always astounded the optometrist when I've had a test, as they say it's perfect. However, I have noticed a slight deterioration in the last few years, but like Veganlinda I work with PCs all day, and am also in my forties. The last eye test I had I passed with flying colours but I could tell there was a difference as it took me more effort to read the bottom line of the eye chart.

  20. #20
    Good sperm
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote Heartsease View Post
    Blueberries are supposed to be good for the eyes.
    Presumably you eat them rather than smush them into your eyeball, cos I can't see that being much help...


  21. #21
    Klytemnest
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    My dad had cataract surgery recently. Two days later he developed an infection that, within hours, rendered his eye blind.

    It's been three weeks since his surgery. Now he is noticing that the other eye is not doing well. The ocular pressure has risen and he is noticing that his vision in that eye is beginning to worsen. He thinks he is going blind... I am freaking out! He is seeing his doctors regularly, he is taking all kinds of drugs and drops, and still he dealing with all this trouble...

    Thanks to all, especially Korn, for providing such great sources of info on the subject of eye health. I will go get my dad some vegan supplements that contain vitamins A, C, E, B-12, zinc, selenium and lutein. Does anyone have any advice as to what else I could get him? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks to all,

    Rami

  22. #22
    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes a few years ago, no problems. No stay in hospital not even overnight, and all was well. I get my eyes checked regularly, the back of the eyes especially, and the opthalmologist urged me to eat plenty of leafy green vegies for eye health. I said that nobody had previously told me that, and his response was that it wasn't known before. I realise this doesn't help your dad, klytemnest, as something obviously went wrong with his cataract removals. I can't understand how drops can help - can't he return to the surgeon who did the procedure? Best wishes.
    Eve

  23. #23
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Sorry to hear of your Dad's troubles Rami. I hope with the support from you and his doctors that his eye health will return.

    Best Wishes to you both.

  24. #24
    Klytemnest
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    Quote eve View Post
    I had cataract surgery on both eyes a few years ago, no problems. No stay in hospital not even overnight, and all was well. I get my eyes checked regularly, the back of the eyes especially, and the opthalmologist urged me to eat plenty of leafy green vegies for eye health. I said that nobody had previously told me that, and his response was that it wasn't known before. I realise this doesn't help your dad, klytemnest, as something obviously went wrong with his cataract removals. I can't understand how drops can help - can't he return to the surgeon who did the procedure? Best wishes.
    Thanks for your response. It helps. I will tell my dad about the green leafy veggies. Hey, every little bit helps.

    The problem is that his eye got infected. It happens once in 3000 cases. My dad was the lucky one. A couple of days after the operation, he noticed that he was seeing some black lines, but didn't think much of it and decided to take a nap. When he woke up from his nap, his vision in that eye was completely gone. Scary, isn't it? They put him on antibiotics, but apparently they are not helping enough. The poor thing has been in great pain for many days now and I don't know how to help him. I bought him carrots... I'll tell him about the green leafy veggies. Thanks,

    Rami

  25. #25
    Klytemnest
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    Quote Roxy View Post
    Sorry to hear of your Dad's troubles Rami. I hope with the support from you and his doctors that his eye health will return.

    Best Wishes to you both.
    Thanks, Roxy. You're a dear. At this point I feel so helpless, all I can really do is hope for the best. Thanks again,

    Rami

  26. #26
    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Rami, I am really sorry about your dad, it is difficult to know what to do if the doctors themselves don't know. I'll be thinking of him with strong wishes for a solution.
    Eve

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    I also experience eye problems with the vegan diet which is what lead me to go off of it. I have never found an answer to what caused it but mine were so bad that I had to stop driving for awhile. I should mention that I als have Sjogren's syndrome which is a auto immune disease that attacks my tear ducts and causes my eyes to be very dry and also rhuematoid arthritis. I would love to go back on the vegan diet because other than the vision problems I felt great on the vegan diet especially the first few weeks on it. If you ever find out what it is please let me know.

    Also FYI I went to many Dr.'s and saw an eye Dr. and none of them could tell me what the cause was. I had blood work done, had an MRI had all types of vision tests and my eyesight did improve after going back on a non vegan diet. It was the diet but I can not tell you what it was about the diet that caused it I am still looking for answers and I am going to try a vegetarian diet to see if I get the same result and it is just a lack of dairy products that does it or a lack of meat that does it. My vision is still not 100% like it was before the diet but I have regained it enough to where I can see 60/40 and i can drive again. I have not left the vegan diet completely but I do have to eat meat, eggs and cheese on occasion. I will let you know if I ever find a reason because the Dr.'s are clueless as to the cause.

    I actually found something in an article I was reading for a research paper I am doing on veganism that might be helpful to us both. I read a story from BBC that said a man went blind from a vegan diet because he lacked the vitamins B12 and B1. So see if maybe a supplement of those 2 vitamins seems to help you.
    Last edited by Korn; Jul 8th, 2014 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Merged three posts

  28. #28
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Eyesight

    Hi, I merged your three posts and approved them (even if only vegans usually have posting abilities here).
    I'm sorry to hear about your eye problems. I think that there's a tendency if someone goes vegans, and after some months or years go sick, certain people (including some vegans) will assume that it is because they went vegan . even if other people get sick as well, and even if they don't know if they would have gotten the same (or more, or fewer) problems if they had not gone vegan.

    We have members here who have been vegans for decades without getting these problems. What is it which makes you think that you sometimes "have to" eat meat, eggs and cheese? I haven't seen any scientific evidence for a theory that people sometimes have to eat animal products.

    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Eyesight

    Quote Paetra View Post
    I also experience eye problems with the vegan diet which is what lead me to go off of it. I have never found an answer to what caused it but mine were so bad that I had to stop driving for awhile. I should mention that I als have Sjogren's syndrome which is a auto immune disease that attacks my tear ducts and causes my eyes to be very dry and also rhuematoid arthritis. I would love to go back on the vegan diet because other than the vision problems I felt great on the vegan diet especially the first few weeks on it. If you ever find out what it is please let me know.

    Also FYI I went to many Dr.'s and saw an eye Dr. and none of them could tell me what the cause was. I had blood work done, had an MRI had all types of vision tests and my eyesight did improve after going back on a non vegan diet. It was the diet but I can not tell you what it was about the diet that caused it I am still looking for answers and I am going to try a vegetarian diet to see if I get the same result and it is just a lack of dairy products that does it or a lack of meat that does it. My vision is still not 100% like it was before the diet but I have regained it enough to where I can see 60/40 and i can drive again. I have not left the vegan diet completely but I do have to eat meat, eggs and cheese on occasion. I will let you know if I ever find a reason because the Dr.'s are clueless as to the cause.

    I actually found something in an article I was reading for a research paper I am doing on veganism that might be helpful to us both. I read a story from BBC that said a man went blind from a vegan diet because he lacked the vitamins B12 and B1. So see if maybe a supplement of those 2 vitamins seems to help you.
    I found this article right off the bat when I searched about this issue out of curiosity:

    http://www.rodalenews.com/red-meat-and-blindness

    The study shows increased risk of vision loss with red meat, but claims chicken is protective (though doesn't specify why). Later the article goes on to talk about specific vitamins/minerals etc that are important to eye sight. If you go to the second page, the article talks about what foods to find those vitamins/minerals in. Plant based food examples are also given for each. Here are other articles that mention plant foods that will boost eye health:

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_...otect-eyesight
    http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutr...ight-4320.html

    Leafy greens are some of the healthiest foods on the planet and I would always recommend eating them daily. I rely on them as a source of many nutrients, especially calcium and iron as well as vitamin A and magnesium etc. I eat collards, kale, bok choy, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, chard, beet leaves, etc I like to add them to soups, smoothies, stir fries, salads, sandwiches, as wraps for dips and spreads and so on. They are also very inexpensive. Beans are also packed with nutrition and a great source of many nutrients. Nuts and seeds in smaller quantities each day can be helpful too. Did you eat these foods daily in sufficient quantities? Sometimes zinc and lutein can be a little more challenging to get on a plant based diet but if you are eating a whole foods based vegan diet and eating a variety of plant food it isn't that hard.

    I have been vegan for three and a half years and have never had vision problems. I am the only person in my entire extended family that I know of that does not wear glasses at the age of 42. In fact my blood tests for LDL, HDL, triglycerides, glucose, vitamin D levels all improved as a vegan and B12 levels have remained quite healthy (last check was two years in as a vegan) as well as iron and hemoglobin tests. I passed my routine eye exam this last year too. I have long standing hypothyroidism and even that has improved as a vegan as I have needed less and less medication. My only test that got worse was my fourth DXA scan for long standing osteoporosis (acquired many years ago from a number of factors besides diet). But I don't blame being vegan for that. I have several other conditions that played a role in my worsening osteoporosis, including a relapse into an eating disorder last year that I have battled for years and overmedicated for thyroid for a while there. I am also in surgical menopause since 2006. I am still fully vegan and have worked hard to increase calcium and protein in my diet, put on weight (gained twenty lbs now since last year) and am being treated in other ways also for my osteoporosis.

    Maybe experiment with some plant foods mentioned in those articles and see if that helps?

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