• Night Blindness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Night Blindness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Per­haps you have found your­self strug­gling to see as well as you used to when dri­ving at night or even just around your house ear­ly in the dark or dim light hours. Maybe you’ve noticed that your eyes do not adjust quite as they used to when you would go from a bright­ly lit place (like out­side) to a place of poor light­ing (like a restau­rant).

You may have heard a term thrown around called “night blind­ness”, but that’s not entire­ly cor­rect. While night blind­ness refers to not being able to see at all in the dark or dim­ly lit places, the cor­rect med­ical term is nyc­talop­ia. Peo­ple who suf­fer from this type of vision impair­ment, expe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ty see­ing or dri­ving in dark­ness.

There are dif­fer­ent types of night blind­ness, and depend­ing on what caus­es night blind­ness for each per­son, dic­tates whether it is treat­able or not. Night blind­ness treat­ment will be dis­cussed below, as well what is night blind­ness exact­ly, and its caus­es.

Night Blindness Symptoms and Treatments

The main night blind­ness symp­tom is, obvi­ous­ly, dif­fi­cul­ty see­ing in the dark, but dif­fer­ent degrees of sever­i­ty can be seen when tran­si­tion­ing from places of dif­fer­ent bright­ness or while dri­ving, due to the inter­mit­tent head­lights, street­lights or road signs.

All night blind­ness symp­toms are relat­ed to poor light­ing sit­u­a­tions. There are sev­er­al caus­es that can be attrib­uted to night blind­ness includ­ing:

  • Nearsightedness (Myopia)

This is a refrac­tive error where there is too much cur­va­ture in a person’s cornea or lens to allow light to focus prop­er­ly on the reti­na. Objects that are clos­er in dis­tance, appear clear­er than ones fur­ther away. Near­sight­ed­ness can be fixed with con­tact lens­es, glass­es, or refrac­tive surgery.

  • Cataracts

This med­ical con­di­tion results in the lens of the eye pro­gres­sive­ly becom­ing more opaque, typ­i­cal­ly with age, which results in blurred or cloudy vision.

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

This con­di­tion is often labeled “tun­nel vision” because dark pig­ment col­lects in the reti­na, which gives the vision of being in a tun­nel.

  • Usher syndrome

This con­di­tion affects both hear­ing and vision, and the most com­mon symp­tom of the vision is retini­tis pig­men­tosa.

  • Glaucoma and Glaucoma medicine

Glau­co­ma is a dis­ease of the optic nerve that can lead to poor vision and even blind­ness. Glau­co­ma med­i­cine has a side effect that nar­rows the pupils, which lim­its the amount of light that can enter the eye, espe­cial­ly in low light sit­u­a­tions.

symptoms of night blindness

  • Low Vitamin A

While rare to occur in the Unit­ed States, nutri­tion­al defi­cien­cies can lead to a vari­ety of vision and health prob­lems. Vit­a­min A is cru­cial for the prop­er func­tion of the rods (spe­cial­ized cells in our eyes that help us see light).

There are a vari­ety of treat­ment options avail­able and depend­ing on what the under­ly­ing cause is, the options can include:

  • New glass­es pre­scrip­tion to account for the degree of near­sight­ed­ness
  • Increased intake of vit­a­min A sup­ple­men­ta­tion, to help improve the func­tion­ing of the rods, and to help coun­ter­act retini­tis pig­men­tosa.
  • Surgery for cataracts
  • Chang­ing glau­co­ma med­i­cines

What­ev­er the case may be for the night blind­ness, dif­fi­cul­ty see­ing in dim envi­ron­ments can be frus­trat­ing and even dan­ger­ous, espe­cial­ly for the old­er pop­u­la­tion. If you strug­gle to nav­i­gate around your home in the dark or find your­self strug­gling to see clear­ly when dri­ving at night, sched­ule an appoint­ment with your eye doc­tor. Even if the cause is some­thing harm­less and cur­able, any sud­den changes in vision are worth get­ting checked out.

If your day­time vision has begun to strug­gle or you are tired of deal­ing with the has­sle of glass­es and/or con­tacts, then give us a call, today. At Dia­mond Vision, we are proud to offer the most cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies and treat­ments to help our patients see as clear­ly as pos­si­ble.

To learn more about the pro­ce­dures we offer, vis­it our web­site.

November 24th, 2018|Comments Off on Night Blindness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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