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night blindness,inability to see normally in subdued light. It is usually a result of vitamin A deficiency. The rod cells, one of two light-sensitive areas of the retina of the eyeeye,
organ of vision and light perception. In humans the eye is of the camera type, with an iris diaphragm and variable focusing, or accommodation. Other types of eye are the simple eye, found in many invertebrates, and the compound eye, found in insects and many other
..... Click the link for more information. , are impaired in their capacity to produce a chemical compound called rhodopsin, or visual purple, that is necessary for the perception of objects in dim light. Consequently, the visual threshold, or the minimum intensity of light necessary for sight, is greatly increased. Folk medicine has long recognized the role of the ingestion of liver in alleviating the condition, but it was not until the first quarter of the 20th cent. that vitamin A was identified as the crucial element. Treatment of night blindness consists of the oral or intravenous administration of vitamin A.
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night blindness[′nīt ‚blīnd·nəs]
Reduced dark adaptation resulting from vitamin A deficiency or from retinitis pigmentosa or other peripheral retinal disease. Also known as nyctalopia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.