What Are Bitot’s Spots?
Bitot’s Spots is something that you may not hear much about, but surprisingly it affects many children across the world. They are white patches that appear on the membrane that covers most of the visible part of the eye, called the conjunctiva. They may start off small but then over time they expand and turn into a condition called Xerophthalmia. Usually occurring in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old, it can cause blindness, specifically in children in Latin America and Africa. Bitot’s spots are caused predominately because of a lack of Vitamin A.
The spots occur slowly and looked like raised triangular shaped spots on the white area of the eyeball. Ulcers develop from these spots which softens the cornea turning into a pulp type of material if not treated. This is what causes the irreversible blindness in so many of these children. Before this happens though there are other symptoms that are present such as dry skin and hair, increased ear infections, sinusitis, digestive problems, respiratory infections, drying of the cornea, inability to gain weight, nervous disorders, skin sores, and night blindness.
Vitamin A deficiency is a serious thing and must be looked at as a disease in itself. Treatment first starts with a natural approach of changing the diet, and eating foods that are rich in Vitamin A. This will cure of many of the symptoms that happen before the blindness occurs. The other infections such as urinary tract infections, measles, and diarrhea must be taken care of before treatment for Bitot’s spots takes place. Whether or not Vitamin A is the cause, Vitamin A can be administered to help with corneal ulcers, but as it is mainly the cause, most people who have this are given a massive dose as early as it is diagnosed.
Natural remedies are great for reducing the symptoms associated with Bitot’s spots. Not only do they work in a therapeutic manner but they are safe and gentle to use. Herbal medicines such as bilberry, Roojbos, and Sutherlandia frutescens support the ability of the eye to resist infection to help avoid the onset of blindness that is associated with Bitot’s spots. These herbal remedies promote the strength of the eye and help to work together with the blood, oxygen, and essential nutrients that strengthen the eye capillaries as well.
Before Bitot’s spots take away the sight of these unsuspecting children, it is important that you work with an herbalist or homeopathic practitioner for complete eye health. With herbal medicine so readily available, a child does not have to lose their eyesight in order to change to a healthier lifestyle.