Night blindness is a type of vision impairment that prevents people from seeing well at night. Also called nyctalopia, night blindness implies that those afflicted with the condition cannot see at all at night. This, however, is not the case as individuals who have trouble seeing at night or in dimly lit conditions can see well during the day. Night blindness is a symptom of one of several underlying problems.
What Causes Night Blindness?
Many different issues can cause night blindness. The most common causes include:
- Glaucoma medications that constrict eye pupils
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Vitamin A deficiency
To determine what is causing your night blindness, your opthamologist will perform a thorough eye exam and may order specialized tests. Whatever the exact cause is, night blindness is caused by the failure of the rods and cones inside your eyes to function properly. In its complete form, night blindness does not all the rods in your retina to respond to any light in dim conditions.
Cataracts are one of the prime causes, with halos around lights, glare and blurry vision being some of the earliest signs. Having diabetes can also cause you to develop night blindness. Diabetes can cause damage to the retina and having night blindness is an easily sign of this problem.
Nutritional deficiencies of Vitamin A or taurine can also cause this condition. Trace elements can also play a role, which indicates why testing is so important.
Other Factors To Consider
Other causes of night blindness can include celiac disease, cirrhosis of the liver, cystic fibrosis, bile duct obstruction, Lasik eye surgery, Fuch’s dystrophy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and vitreous detachment.
Symptoms can vary per patient. However, most individuals have weak vision in dim light, difficulty seeing while driving at night and slow adaptation when changing between bright and dim light.
How Night Blindness Is Treated
Many vitamins and supplements are believed to reduce the symptoms of night blindness. Taking Vitamin A, in particular, is believed to aid night and color vision, as well as tear production. Saffron and krill oil are two other supplements that you may want to consider.
Better absorption of trace elements can also play a role in improving the condition. Supplements that may make a difference include bilberry, lutein, ginkgo biloba and zeaxathin. Zine combined with vitamin A has shown to be more effective than Vitamin A alone.
Vegetables such as dark greens like spinach, collards and orange and yellow vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes can also aid the problem.
Sometimes no matter how many supplements or medicines you take, your night blindness will not improve. In these cases, you need to try other measures. These include:
- Increasing visibility by cleaning headlights
- Slowing down to give yourself more time to react to hazards
- Getting prescription glasses for driving at night
- Don’t drive at night. Can something wait until tomorrow? If it can, then you owe it to yourself to leave the driving until the following day.
Comprehensive Eye Exam New York NY
By following the above steps, you may help with your night blindness. However, it is always best to consult with a professional optometrist. Be sure to contact Optometric Eye Services when you need to schedule an appointment with a trusted and experienced eye doctor. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
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