University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

EyeRounds Online Atlas of Ophthalmology

Contributor: William Charles Caccamise, Sr, MD, Retired Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

*Dr. Caccamise has very generously shared his images of patients taken while operating during the "eye season" in rural India as well as those from his private practice during the 1960's and 1970's. Many of his images are significant for their historical perspective and for techniques and conditions seen in settings in undeveloped areas.

Category: Cornea

Profound xerophthalmia due to vitamin A deficiency

profound xerophthalmia due to vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency remains one of the leading causes of blindness in rural third world countries. This was one of Dr. Caccamise's patients in India. Corneal involvement such as this is seen when the vitamin deficiency occurs from early childhood. Acutely, the child developes corneal disturbances which may progress to keratomalacia with dissolution of the corneas. In older children, the corneas may take on this xerophthalmic state. Vitamin A deficiency beginning after childhood normally does not cause this type of xerophthalmia.In an infant and in young children, vitamin A deficiency is an acute emergency requiring immediate hospitalization. Keratomalacia may melt the cornea within a few hours - before the ophthalmologist's eyes. The treatment is massive doses of vitamins parenterally, cycloplegics to the eyes, and antibiotic eye ointments.The effects of treatment may be spectacular.

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Ophthalmic Atlas Images by, The University of Iowa are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

last updated: 02-08-2008
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