How Vitamin A Deficiency can lead to Vision Problems & Night Blindness

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Vitamin A deficiency is common among people, but it might lead to serious diseases like blindness. Vitamin A is available in foods like carrots, pumpkins, leafy green veggies and many more. Diseases like blindness and night blindness are more common in developing countries as they are prone to infections. But this can be avoided.

Benefits of Vitamin-A 

  • Vitamin- A plays an important role in eyesight. It helps in the production of certain pigments in the retina. These pigments help the eye to see the full spectrum of light.
  • It enhances the ability of the eye to see in low light. 
  • Vitamin A helps preserve the integrity of the trachea, salivary gland, epithelial tissue, corneal epithelium and sperm. 
  • Vitamin A also helps in producing mucous membranes, without which the skin is left flaky and dry. 
  • Vitamin-A also supports the strong formation of epithelial cells, which, in the absence of this, creates a higher chance of the formation of bacteria. 
  • Vitamin A increases the resistance to diseases as it helps the immune system.
  • Vitamin A is also necessary for the proper functioning of other parts of the eye, like the cornea. 
  • It also contributes to the production of white blood cells.
  • Vitamin A also helps in cell division and growth, leading to reproduction.
  • It also favours the re-modelling of the bones.

Effects of Vitamin-A Deficiency

  • The deficiency of Vitamin A will, in turn, lead to Nyctalopia or night blindness because there are certain pigments in the retina that are not being produced. 
  • This also reflects on the eye as dry conjunctiva in the beginning and in the latter stages as damaged cornea.
  • When children with Vitamin-A deficiency are infected with diseases, they take longer time to cure or sometimes even end in death. 
  • Without Vitamin A, the eyes cannot be properly lubricated.
  • Mild Vitamin-A deficiency can cause fatigue and susceptibility to infections.
  • It might also cause infertility in some women.
  • Sometimes, the vitamins that a person takes are not absorbed by the body, like when the person has Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis and alcoholism.
  • Vitamin-A deficiency also causes dry skin and hair. 

Who Gets Affected by Vitamin-A Deficiency?

Approximately 125000 – 250000 children die from blindness due to Vitamin-A deficiency within a span of one year of getting affected by this disease. 

Pregnant and lactating women also fall prey to this deficiency as there is an extra need for Vitamin A during this stage. This leads to night blindness or even death in some cases. 

People in developing countries like Africa and Asia are at a higher risk of getting this disease as there is a lot of presence of infections like measles and diarrhoea.

Apart from this, people suffering from intestinal inflammation, restricted diet, and liver and pancreatic disease are also prone to Vitamin-A deficiency. 

People who have had bariatric surgery are also highly likely to have Vitamin-A deficiency. 

Vitamin-A Foods

  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Red bell pepper 
  • Milk
  • Fish oil
  • Fortified food
  • Beef liver
  • Mango 
  • Tomato
  • Cantaloupe

How Much Vitamin A is Excess?

Since Vitamin-A is fat soluble, anything which is not immediately required will be stored in the liver. When the stored amount is more than the body needs it becomes toxic. This leads to a variety of diseases like hip fracture, birth defects and bone loss. 

Signs of Vitamin-A toxicity include nausea and vomiting, dry skin, bone pain, blurry sight and sensitivity to bright light.


Vitamin A deficiency can be resolved easily in some cases, while it might have made quite an impact on others. The effects of Vitamin-A deficiency can range from fatigue to death. The common side effect of Vitamin-A deficiency is vision issues like night blindness. These can be avoided with proper diet in most cases, but in a few cases, they need medical attention.


1. What vegetables are rich in Vitamin-A?

Pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato, leafy green veggies, broccoli and kale are a few vegetables that are rich in Vitamin-A.

2. What are the side effects of Vitamin-A deficiency?

Night blindness, blurry vision, fatigue, susceptibility to infections, fertility issues in some women, birth defects, and sometimes even death are some of the side effects of Vitamin-A deficiency. 


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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