Can Candy Make You Blind?

There are a lot of ways you can go blind – cataracts, aging, and candies.  Today we’re going to show you how this sweet treat can make you go blind.

A VERY short history of Candy

Candies have existed since the 4th century. Indians, Persians, and Greeks have made their own versions of candies. The way it has been made hasn’t changed although during ancient times, these sugar confections have largely been considered a food for the royalty and wealthy.

In the 1800’s, the Industrial revolution allowed for the mass production of candy. Most successful confectionery businesses relied on children’s demand for the product. This meant only a handful of business owners were successful in selling the treat.

With the advancement of technology and industrial processes, candy makers used a variety of methods to tend to a wider market. From simple sugar and cornstarch, they also included artificial colors to make the candy more appealing. These included chromium oxide for the green color, lead oxide for red, lead chromate for yellow, and arsenic trioxide for white.

These ingredients are not legally monitored and have serious health risks. This was the reason why the Pure Foods and Drug Act was made, and was the first law to be passed to regulate food safety.

Can Artificial Coloring Make You Blind?

Toxic levels of artificial colorings have a variety of effects. Chromium green oxide can cause irritated skin and eyes, and causes lung irritation when inhaled. But these effects only occur in powder form.

Lead oxide red can cause chest pains and abdominal pains when inhaled or ingested in large quantities. Lead chromate yellow, despite being a  compound of lead, is not toxic due to its inability to be dissolved. In its purest form, arsenic trioxide in small amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cerebral edema, among other side effects.

None of the artificial colorings can make you blind, so how exactly does candy make you blind?

It’s All In The Candy, Sugar.

Or rather, it’s all in the sugar. Sugar consumption is linked to a variety of chronic health diseases. From cardiovascular diseases, cancer, immune disorders and hormonal imbalances, sugar is one of the worst foods to consume excessively.

To show you some numbers, the average American consumes about six cups of sugar in a week! That’s about 150 pounds of sugar, or roughly the same weight as a five foot six tall teenager. A candy has about 52 grams of sugar, which is more than twice the recommended daily intake.

Excessive sugar consumption is also linked to mental health disorders. Depression secondary to hormonal imbalance as a result of excessive sugar consumption has been studied, and health experts are advising the reduction of sugar in diets. An uncontrolled sugar consumption can increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. The WHO estimates a whopping 440 million people worldwide afflicted with the condition. This number was recorded back in 2014. Americans comprise seven percent of this number, and is beaten out by China, with a record-high of 116 million people. That’s almost 25% of the global diabetic population!

Diabetes develops when the body fails to make insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for reducing blood sugar levels. Although diabetes can be genetic, most cases of diabetes are caused by increased blood sugar levels.

SIgns and symptoms of diabetes include: increased thirst, frequent urination, frequent hunger pangs, slow healing wounds, numbness in the extremities, fatigue and blurred vision. If you’re been eating too much sugar in your teens and you suddenly have blurry vision, then you can try to rule out either myopia or diabetes. 

Going to eye experts like Pearle Vision to get an expert opinion on your eye condition can help find out if you have myopia or other vision-related illnesses.

Diabetes and Blindness

The two most common symptoms and complications of diabetes that affect the eye are cataracts and glaucoma. People with diabetes have significantly increased chances of developing cataracts and glaucoma.

Cataracts develop when the lens in the eye becomes blurry or cloudy. Diabetic people get this because microscopic sugar crystals literally form inside the lens, affecting vision. As for glaucoma, it has something more to do with your blood vessels.

Glaucoma is a condition where you have a darkened area in your field of vision. This happens because of an increased pressure in the back of your eye. Diabetes causes the blood to become thicker and makes veins narrower and less flexible. This is the reason why wounds will take longer to heal, and why diabetic people are more likely to have cardiovascular disease. Both cataracts and glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness if the progression is not treated early.

Should I Stay Away from Candy?

Not necessarily. If you have a sweet tooth like us, then by all means, indulge yourself responsibly. As with any other kind of food in the world, excessive consumption will usually lead to serious health effects. You might want to change your candy preferences though. Snack on naturally sweet treats instead, like berries, dates, and grapes, which provide the same sweet flavor without excessively raising your blood sugar levels.