Eyes Home > Vitamin A Deficiency

Although rare in developed countries, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness in developing areas of the world. Symptoms that may occur as a result of a deficiency include diarrhea, night blindness, and pneumonia. Certain people appear to be at a higher risk for developing deficiency of vitamin A, including those with diabetes, liver disease, or cystic fibrosis.

An Overview of Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries. However, it is a leading cause of blindness in developing areas of the world, especially in malnourished children. Fortunately, the condition is easily treated.

Possible Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency

Signs that a person may be deficient in vitamin A include:
  • Night blindness, which can progress to complete blindness
  • A weak immune system (increasing the susceptibility to infections)
  • Pneumonia
  • Diarrhea
  • Goose bump-like appearance of the skin
  • Slow growth
  • Slow bone development
  • Decreased chance of surviving serious illnesses
  • Birth defects.

Vitamin A Deficiency: Who's At Risk?

Healthy people in developed countries have a low risk for vitamin A deficiency. This vitamin is found in a wide variety of foods, including animal and plant products. However, certain groups of people seem to have a higher risk of developing a deficiency, including people with the following conditions:
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation




Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.