Vitamin A is one of the vital vitamins that our body needs to maintain optimum eye health. You must have heard that eating carrots can boost eyesight and vision. That is because carrots are the richest source of vitamin A. Since the human body doesn’t produce vitamin A, we need to include it in our diet. But what happens when you don’t get enough vitamin A? It can cause eye and skin-related problems. You must watch out for these signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency before it becomes severe and causes other critical complications.
Symptoms of Vitamin A Deficiency
If you are deficient in vitamin A, you might suffer from dry eyes. This is the initial sign of vitamin A deficiency wherein your eyes might feel dry because they are unable to produce tears. If you ignore this, the deficiency may become severe causing drying corneas that can lead to complete blindness.(click here to know about Age-Related Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies)
If you have severe vitamin A deficiency, you might experience night blindness. It generally starts with blurry vision or weakening of eyesight that can develop into night blindness over time. People who have cataracts are at a greater risk of night blindness. So you must increase intake of vitamin A-rich foods to prevent this condition.
Also Read: Vitamin A: Benefits And Best Sources
Deficiency of vitamin A not only affects eyes but also your skin. This vitamin helps in repairing and rejuvenating skin cells to keep skin healthy. When you are deficient in vitamin A, you might have to suffer from skin problems like inflammation, dryness, red and itchy skin, eczema, etc.
NOTE: Dry skin can be caused due to many reasons. If dry skin is caused along with eye problems as mentioned earlier, you might have vitamin A deficiency.
Acne and Breakouts
Lower levels of vitamin A can also trigger acne breakouts. If your skin is suddenly breaking out a lot, it could be due to vitamin A deficiency. As mentioned earlier, this vitamin promotes skin health. So its reduced levels can cause skin problems. Both oral and topical use of vitamin A is found to be effective in treating acne breakouts.
Also Read: Monsoon Maladies: How to Cure Monsoon Acne
If you are frequently getting infections in your chest and throat, it is highly likely due to vitamin A deficiency. Studies have found that vitamin A can boost respiratory functions and prevent infections. When there is vitamin deficiency, you become susceptible to respiratory infections including throat and chest infections. So frequent infections might indicate vitamin A deficiency.
Poor Wound Healing
Vitamin A is linked to collagen production which is an important component of skin. When vitamin A levels are severely low in your body, you might have poor wound healing. It might take longer than usual for your wounds to heal. Ignoring this can trigger other complications especially in people with diabetes.
How to Overcome Vitamin A Deficiency
As mentioned before, vitamin A can only be obtained through external sources. Following are some foods that are rich in vitamin A.
- Fish- Shellfish, co and oily fish are best for vitamin A. You can consume these fishes or get their supplements to replenish vitamin A levels.
- Fruits- Orange, melon, apricot, mango, and papaya are some fruits rich in vitamin A.
- Vegetables- Carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash, green leafy vegetables, lettuce, etc. are rich in vitamin A.
- Dairy products- Full cream milk and cheddar cheese have more vitamin A content.
You must include vitamin A in your diet to reduce the risk of associated health problems.
Image credits- freepik