A progressive disease of the eye, caused by severe vitamin A deficiency, in which the cornea becomes opaque and ulcerated. Perforation of the cornea is common, often leading to loss of the eye through infection. The condition usually occurs only in severely malnourished children and is a common cause of blindness in developing countries. In the early stages, the damage can be reversed by treatment with large doses of vitamin A but, if untreated, blindness is usually inevitable.


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