Iron Deficiency and it’s Impact on Eyesight: Symptoms and Prevention
Iron is an essential nutrient for our body, and its deficiency can lead to anemia. While common symptoms of iron deficiency include headaches and fatigue, it can also affect eyesight. Dr. Mahavir Dattani, an Eye Specialist associated with Retina Specialty Hospital in Indore, explains that although iron deficiency doesn’t directly impact the eyes, it affects all organs, potentially leading to decreased eyesight. In such cases, a doctor’s advice should be sought, and an iron test might be recommended.
Decreased Hemoglobin and its Effects on Eyesight
Iron deficiency results in a decrease in hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin is a vital component of red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. When the body lacks iron, the supply of oxygen is disrupted, leading to feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. This can indirectly impact eyesight as well.
Relationship Between Iron Deficiency and Blurred Vision
While not all patients with iron deficiency will experience a decrease in eyesight, some individuals may experience changes in their retina due to iron deficiency. Certain patients might exhibit symptoms of “anemic retinopathy.”
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency in the Eyes
Recognizing symptoms of iron deficiency is crucial. The color inside the lower eyelids can turn yellow due to low iron levels. In severe cases, the inner layer of the eyelids may appear light pink or yellow. Additionally, dryness and reduced tear production can occur in the eyes due to iron deficiency.
Other Symptoms to Watch For
Apart from potential effects on eyesight, iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and difficulty in breathing. If these symptoms are experienced, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional promptly, as prolonged iron deficiency can be harmful to the eyes.
Maintaining Healthy Eyes through Diet
Promoting good eye health involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and diet. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins is essential. Iron-rich foods like raisins, beetroot, pomegranate, amla (Indian gooseberry), and spinach can help maintain iron levels in the body. To ensure overall eye health, include blueberries, strawberries, carrots, fish, walnuts, chia seeds, ripe fruits, oranges, tomatoes, and other nutrient-rich foods in your diet.