Vitamin A deficiency is diagnosed by an eye exam and by reviewing medical history. A blood test can measure the amount of vitamin A in the blood. However, because vitamin A deficiency is most common in areas with limited medical access, the diagnosis is often made on the basis of information provided by the parent about the child’s vision, particularly the appearance of night blindness.
Vitamin A deficiency treatment
Vitamin A deficiency can be treated with vitamin A supplements. The amount of supplements depends upon the age of the child. Vitamin A supplements can reverse night blindness and help the eyes become properly lubricated again. However, vision loss caused by scarring from corneal ulcers cannot be reversed.
International organizations are working to address vitamin A deficiency in at-risk populations, and seek to promote prevention through adequate diet and vitamin supplements.