Keratomalacia - Treatment


Keratomalacia is hastened by protein-caloric malnutrition, and can be precipitated by a systemic illness such as measles, pneumonia or diarrhoea. Usually occurs as a result of vitamin A deficiency (commonest cause worldwide), secondary to inadequate diet, cystic fibrosis , sprue or other causes of malabsorption of fat soluble vitamins (IBD, liver disease , intestinal bypass surgery).

Keratomalacia is the softening and drying and ulceration of the cornea resulting from vitamin A deficiency; symptom of cystic fibrosis or sprue

Vitamin A is essential for normal vision as well as proper bone growth, healthy skin, and protection of the mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory, and urinary tracts against infection. In some developing countries, vitamin A deficiency in the diet and associated keratomalacia are a major cause of childhood blindness. In such regions, vitamin A deficiency often occurs as part of nonselective general malnutrition in infants and young children.

Lack of tears causes extreme dryness of the eyes, and foamy Bitot's spots appear on the bulbar conjunctiva.

Symptoms of Keratomalacia

Early symptoms may include

  • poor vision at night or in dim light (night blindness)
  • and extreme dryness of the eyes (i.e., xerophthalmia), followed by wrinkling, progressive cloudiness, and increasing softening of the corneas (i.e., keratomalacia).

Treatment of Keratomalacia

Diet supplements rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene should be provided in high risk areas to prevent the condition (NB vitamin A should be avoided during pregnancy because of the risk of vitamin A embryopathy). Keratomalacia is irreversible and causes permanent corneal scarring. Vitamin A therapy and a protein-rich diet are essential. Topical antibiotics are given to prevent secondary bacterial infection.


Share |

Related Articles on Deficiency Diseases

  Sideroblastic anemia
  Porphyria cutanea tarda
  Sickle-cell anemia
  Wilsons Disease
  Menkes syndrome
  Bitot's spots
  Macrocytic anemia
  Megaloblastic anemia
  Pernicious anemia
  Muscular dystrophy
  Haemolytic anaemia
  Cholestatic Jaundice Constipation
  Hypothyroidism symptom
  Losing weight with hypothyroidism
  Subclinical hypothyroidism
  Congenital hypothyroidism
  Hashimotos thyroiditis
  Postpartum thyroiditis
  Hyperthyroidism symptom
  Feline hyperthyroidism
  Graves disease
   Plummer's disease
  Thyroid storm
  Acrodermatitis enteropathica
  Metal fume fever
  Keshan disease
Metabolic Syndrome

Nutrition - Vitamins | Amino Acids | Herbs | Minerals | Nutrients | Supplements | Enzymes
Wellness - Healthy Living | Dental Care | Products | Skin Vitamins | Ayurveda | Slideshow
Health - Deficiency | Alternative Medicines | How To | Symptoms | Food Kitchen How tos?
Fitness - Exercises | Gardening
Food & Cooking - Recipes | Fruits & Vegetables
Healthy Eating & Diet - Diet | Weight Loss | Green Tea | Noni Juice | Acai
Online Vitamins Guide

Nutrition Articles | Your Feedback & Suggestions | Newsletter
Disclaimer | Blog
Home © 2001-2013 All rights reserved.