Vitamin A and the Eye

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Vitamins are micro-nutrients that are needed in small quantities by the body. Very small amounts are contained in foods.
Vitamins are essential.The roles they play in the body are very important. Most vitamins are obtained from the foods we eat, some are made by bacteria in the intestine and one is made in the skin. There is no perfect food that contains all the vitamins in the right amount. Vitamins are non-energy producing, they do not contain calories. They are however involved in extracting energy from macro-nutrients.

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Vitamin is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat for absorption and assimilation. It so happens that it is even the first fat soluble vitamin to be discovered by scientists. There are two types, the preformed vitamin A and the provitamin A. Animal sources of vitamin A are more readily absorbed and assimilated than that of plant sources. Some good sources of vitamin A include; Broccoli, Carrots, Tomato juice, Beef liver, Sweet potatoes and Mangoes. 900 micrograms of Retinal Activity Equivalence is required for Men per day whereas 700 micrograms is required for women per day.

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Functions of Vitamin A
It plays a key role in vision or sight, help in maintaining the corneal integrity, epithelial cells, mucous membranes and the skin. Contributes to bone and tooth growth, required in reproduction, boost system's immunity and has anti-oxidant properties that protect the eyes and other body organs. The part of vitamin A that contributes to vision is called retinal, it converts light energy into electrical impulses to be sent to be the brain for interpretation, thus in its absence this function is impeded, vision is affected terribly and may result in blindness. vitamin A also supports reproduction and growth. In men, retinol participates in sperm development, and in women, vitamin A supports normal fetal development during pregnancy. Children lacking vitamin A fail to grow. When given vitamin A supplements, these children gain weight and grow taller.

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Deficiencies of Vitamin A
Inadequate or lack of vitamin A in the system of an individual may result in one or more of these conditions;
Night blindness, Xerosis otherwise known as corneal drying; a condition where the eye fails to produce tears, bitot's spots forming on the eye; as a result of keratinization of epithelial cells, karatomalacia; a severe condition of xerosis with degradation of the corneal epithelium, hyperkaratosis; abnormal thickening of the outer layer of the skin and impaired immunity.

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Treatment or Management
Treatment may be done in two ways either by focusing on the symptoms or the deficiency, treatment of symptoms involves the administration of eye drops by the optometrist or ophthalmologist. Treatment by deficiency involves the used of Vitamin A supplements, multivitamin supplements and taking in food rich in vitamin A. Treatment with supplements and/or diet can be successful until the disease progresses as far as corneal ulceration, at which point only an extreme surgery can offer a chance of returning sight.

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The foods we eat define us in a lot of ways and have lots of effects on our system, whether it be good or bad, in the same vain, it affects our eyes and as such we ought to eat right and seek appropriate medical attention when things are not going well. It is recommended that one sees his or her optometrist at least twice every year. Your health, is your wealth, cherish it

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What is @bettervision about?

@bettervision is is a project initiated by @nattybongo and friends to give back to the society the knowledge and skill acquired through the Optometric Studies in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.It is an outreach system where we visit the less privileged communities to offer free eye screening services and education to the people within the community

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
To reduce or prevent vision loss through diseases such as glaucoma, cataract and refractive errors.

To enlighten the majority of the Ghanaian population about the importance of proper visual care.

To conscientize people on the need for regular eye checks

To get more people to have their wards screened within the Critical periods of a Child’s Vision Development; thus from ages 3 to till about 10 years.

To help the blind and people with low vision live a better life within the society through education of the general public to stop stigmatization.

To help in the fight of extreme poverty that puts the health of people at risk

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Our greatest gratitude goes to @fundition @adollaraday @surfyogi @girlsfoundation @bleepcoin @ackza @indigoocean @nanzo-scoop @steemstem @demotruk @pennsif @steem-ambassador @kasho and @wafrica for helping to make the aims and objectives of @bettervision a reality.

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