Xerophthalmia is a progressive disease of the eye due to deficiency of vitamin A.
That this term refers to dryness may be inferred from the prefix "xero-" which means "dry", and is also a part of other terms listed in this section - listed on the left. That this term refers to the eye, i.e. dryness "of the eye" may be inferred from the suffix "-ophthalmia" because "ophthalmos" means "eye".
Xerophthalmia is sometimes (incompletely) defined just as "dry eyes".
Symptoms include the cornea and conjunctiva becoming extremely dry, thickened, and wrinkled. Contributory factors generally include deficiency of tears or conjunctival secretions. Xerophthalmia is also associated with Night Blindness.
In the worst cases xerophthalmia might ultimately lead to blindness.
In addition to systemic deficiency of vitamin A, xerophthalmia may be exacerbated by trauma (such as injury) and / or by exposure.
More about Ophthalmology:
This section includes short definitions
of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).
Other related pages include
- A diagram of the eye
- Definitions and descriptions of the parts of the eye
- A concise description of the human retina
- Definitions of parts of the retina
- Clinical and surgical procedures re. eyes and human visual system
For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.