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All You Need to Know About Night Blindness

Night blindness, also known as Nyctalopia, is the inability to acclimatize to dim lighting conditions. Some people become more nearsighted at night as the pupil dilates in dark conditions, a condition called spherical aberration.

Night blindness is mostly a symptom of several underlying diseases or conditions, especially untreated nearsightedness.

This occurs because an individual with myopia will become even more nearsighted as the pupil dilates at night. On the other hand, patients being treated with glaucoma medications, which constrict the pupil, will also frequently have night blindness because the small pupil allows minimal light to enter the eye. Retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal degenerative disorder, may also be associated with night blindness.

Some other less common causes of night blindness include the retinal disorders such as gyrate atrophy.

Types of night blindness

  1. Congenital stationary night blindness

    This type of night blindness is mostly due to inherited disorders.

  2. Progressive night blindness

    This type of night blindness continues to gradually worsen over time.

  3. Night Blindness due to complication of obesity related surgery

    Individuals who undergo obesity surgery can develop night blindness, mainly because important nutrients such as vitamin A may be lacking if patients fail in the intake of nutritional supplements following surgery./p>

What are the causes of Night Blindness?

Night blindness is caused due to a disorder of the cells in the retina of the eye, which are responsible for vision in dim light. This may be caused due to:

  • Nearsightedness.
  • Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil.
  • Presence of cataracts.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa - a retinal degenerative disorder
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Malabsorption - if it affects vitamin A absorption
  • Celiac disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Bile duct obstruction
  • Diabetes
  • Macular degeneration
  • Birth defect

What are the symptoms of night blindness?

Common symptoms include difficulty in vision when driving in the evening or at night, poor vision in reduced light, and feeling that the eyes take longer to "adjust" to seeing in the dark.

Associated symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision

How is Night Blindness treated?

  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Corrective lenses for Myopia
  • Treatment of any underlying medical cause

Improving Your Night Vision

Many new eyeglasses can be made using an anti-reflective coating on the lenses. This improves your overall night vision by reducing the glare of light sources. Make sure the coating is of good quality coating since there are a few different qualities of coating with many being better than others.

When driving, optometrists recommend using non-preserved dry eye drops. This is especially true if you have dry eyes.

Schedule regular eye examinations every year. It helps your overall eye health as well as keeps your prescription up to date if you wear glasses. If you have any small eye problems, they become big vision issues at nighttime leading to halos and blurry sports around lights. These kinds of distracting light distortions are unsafe when driving.

Questions? Contact us.