Xerophthalmia

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xerophthalmia

[‚zi‚räf′thal·mē·ə]
(medicine)
Dryness and thickening of the conjunctiva, sometimes following chronic conjunctivitis, disease of the lacrimal apparatus, or vitamin A deficiency.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Xerophthalmia

 

an affection of the eyes expressed in dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea. It arises as a result of disturbance of tear secretion and chiefly of trophic disturbances. One of the immediate causes of xerophthalmia is avitaminosis A; it may arise in children when there are severe gastrointestinal diseases. The most frequent causes of xerophthalmia are trachoma, pemphigus, and chemical burns of the eyes. It is manifested by a sensation of dryness and pain in the eyes and heaviness of the eyelids; the cornea becomes cloudy and may undergo irreversible cicatricial changes. Vision is decreased.

Xerophthalmia is treated by medication; good results are obtained by transplanting the excretory duct of the parotid gland to the conjunctival sac to restore moisture to the eye.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.