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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-45

Vitamin A deficiency: An eye sore

Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Rupali Chopra
Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-019X.105329

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Vitamin A deficiency is a major cause of childhood mortality and morbidity in India and other developing countries. The ocular manifestations of vitamin A are collectively called xerophthalmia and range from conjunctival xerosis to severe blinding complications such as keratomalacia. Vitamin A deficiency exists as a major public health nutrition problem among preschool-aged children, especially in the South East Asian region, as well as among the pregnant and lactating women. Deficiency can be diagnosed by the ocular manifestations such as Bitot's spots, serum retinol levels, and conjunctival impression cytology (CIC). Improving vitamin A status in the diet or by periodic administration of vitamin A to children can reduce both mortality and blindness. This review is an attempt to highlight the ocular manifestations of vitamin A deficiency, its prevalence, treatment, and preventive strategies.

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