Vitamin are one of the most important category of substances or rather nutrients to maintain good health and bodily functions. Among the numerous vitamins, Vitamin A or Retinol is one that can’t be produced by the human body. It is essential to be consumed through a diet.
Food which contain Vitamin A are milk, liver, eggs, and fish liver oils. Failing to meet the dietary requirements of Vitamin A can lead to a clinical deficiency in mild form with long term issues. However, in certain developing countries with varied lifestyles like Veganism, it can be the cause of vision loss or death.
Role of Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays an essential role in the ability to see or vision. In order for you to be able to fully video the spectrum of light, your eye must produce several pigments for the photoreceptors inside your retina to function properly. A deficiency of Vitamin A halts the production of this group of pigments.
A lack of vitamin A also leads to absence of enough moisture production by the eyes to keep them lubricated.
What is Vitamin A deficiency?
Deficiency or lack of vitamin A in your body due to lack of vitamin A in your diet leads to vitamin A deficiency. It means you may develop vision problems and become less able to fight of infections and common illnesses.
It is a leading cause of preventable blindness in children around the world. And among expecting moms, a lack of vitamin A can lead to maternal mortality or poor immune system.
How common is Vitamin A deficiency?
Vitamin A deficiency is uncommon JD most countries in the West but highly common in developing countries.
Vitamin A deficiency Symptoms
Mild or moderate forms of vitamin A deficiency can go without symptoms for a long times. However, fatigue is a common concern.
While both mild and severe forms can lead to:
- Susceptibility to infections of throat and chest
- Delayed bone development
Extremely severe forms of vitamin A deficiency lead to:
- Night blindness
- Skin and hair dryness
- It hung
- Corneal ulceration
- Dryness of conjunctiva
- Perforation of cornea
- Severe sight impairment
- Formation of foamy patches of oval or triangle shape in the white of eyes called Bitot’s spot
How is Vitamin A deficiency diagnosed?
When the doctor suspects Vitamin A deficiency, then you will be required to undergo blood tests:
- To confirm whether a deficiency of Vitamin A is there
- To check whether it is another condition like Anemia
Other ways to diagnose a vitamin A deficiency include vision tests, particularly how your vision adapts to darker settings.
Among children, X-rays of the king bones may be ideal to investigate bone growth, which may be slowed down because of vitamin A deficiency.
What are the treatments for Vitamin A deficiency?
The treatment for milder forms of vitamin A deficiency included dietary modifications like incorporating vitamin-A rich foods. For example- liver, beef, chicken, eggs, fortified milk, carrots, mangoes, leafy greens and more.
For more severe forms of vitamin A deficiency, the doctor may direct daily dosages of oral vitamin A supplements.