Anorexia Nervosa May Cause Serious Eye Damage

Researchers analyzed the thickness of the macula and its electrical activity in both eyes of 13 women with anorexia nervosa and in 20 women without anorexia nervosa all of the women were about the 28 years old. The thirteen women who had anorexia had had the condition for about a ten-year period of time give or take a year.

Analysis of the Eyes

The analysis of the eyes showed that the macula (macula – eye is a small spot where vision is (keenest – clearest/sharpest) in the retina part of the eye.) The nerve layers feeding it (retinal nerve fiber layer) were considerably thinner in the eyes of the women with anorexia nervosa. There was also considerably less firing of the neurotransmitter dopamine (released from the brain in the eyes of the women with anorexia nervosa. Dopamine neurotransmission is a key element of the brain’s ability to process visual images. The amount of damage was also noted seemed to be less damage in the eyes of the individuals at different stages of anorexia.


“The authors conclude that it is not yet clear whether macular thinning and decreased neurotransmitter activity are the initial stages of progressive blindness or whether these signs will revert back to normal once normal eating patterns are resumed.”


Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2018
Company Information

© 2018 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.