Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Keratomalacia


Synonyms of Keratomalacia
  • No synonyms found

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No synonyms found


General Discussion
Keratomalacia is an eye (ocular) condition, usually affecting both eyes (bilateral), that results from severe deficiency of vitamin A. That deficiency may be dietary (i.e., intake) or metabolic (i.e., absorption). 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.

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). With advancing vitamin A deficiency, dry, foamy, silver-gray deposits (Bitot spots) may appear on the delicate membranes covering the whites of the eyes. Without adequate treatment, increasing softening of the corneas may lead to corneal infection, rupture (perforation), and degenerative tissue changes, resulting in blindness. In addition, in some cases, vitamin A deficiency may have additional effects, particularly during infancy and childhood.

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. Although rare in developed countries, vitamin A deficiency and keratomalacia may occur secondary to conditions associated with impaired absorption, storage, or transport of vitamin A, such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, or intestinal bypass surgery and any condition that affects absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
.

Organizations related to Keratomalacia
  • Blind Children's Center
    4120 Marathon Street
    Los Angeles CA 90029-3584
    Phone #: 323-664-2153
    800 #: 800-222-3566
    e-mail: info@blindchildrenscenter.org
    Home page: http://www.blindchildrenscenter.org
  • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    2 Information Way
    Bethesda MD 20892-3570
    Phone #: 301-654-3810
    800 #: 800-891-5389
    e-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov
  • NIH/National Eye Institute
    Building 31 Rm 6A32
    Bethesda MD 20892-2510
    Phone #: 301-496-5248
    800 #: --
    e-mail: 2020@nei.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.nei.nih.gov/
  • National Association for Visually Handicapped
    22 West 21st Street
    New York NY 10010
    Phone #: 212-889-3141
    800 #: --
    e-mail: staff@navh.org
    Home page: http://www.navh.org
  • National Eye Research Foundation
    910 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook IL 60062
    Phone #: 847-564-4652
    800 #: 800-621-2258
    e-mail: nerf1955@aol.com
    Home page: http://www.nerf.org
  • Prevent Blindness America
    211 West Wacker Drive
    Chicago IL 60606
    Phone #: 312-363-6001
    800 #: 800-331-2020
    e-mail: info@preventblindness.org
    Home page: http://www.preventblindness.org
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO)
    Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
    Washington DC 20037
    Phone #: 202-974-3000
    800 #: --
    e-mail: postmaster@paho.org
    Home page: http://www.who.ch/



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html