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Night Blindness Information

Night blindness is a condition making it difficult or impossible to see in the dark. Persons who experience night blindness should not drive during the evening or at night. Additional safety precautions should be taken. People with night blindness see poorly in the darkness but see normally when adequate amounts of light are present. The condition does not actually involve true blindness, even at night. The most common cause of night blindness is retinitis pigmentosa, a disorder in which the rod cells in the retina gradually lose their ability to respond to the light. Night blindness may cause problems with driving in the evening or at night. It is not a disorder in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder or problem, especially untreated nearsightedness. Much less common causes of night blindness include the retinal disorders gyrate atrophy, choroideremia, and congenital stationary night blindness. Vitamin A deficiency also contributes to development of night blindness because of the nutrient's importance in maintaining the health of the eye's retina.A person with myopia, or nearsightedness, may also experience night blindness. With myopia, the person has difficulty focusing his or her eyes. As a result, far away objects appear blurry, and the person may also have difficulty adapting to darkness.

One common cause of night blindness is cataracts, which are opaque or cloudy areas in the eye's lens. Patients suffering from this genetic condition have progressive nyctalopia and eventually their daytime vision may also be affected. Rods are a specific type of light-sensitive cell considered essential for good night vision. Sources of vitamin A include animal livers, milk, and yellow and green leafy vegetables which contain carotenes, chemically related substances that are converted to vitamin A in the body. The prevalence of night blindness during pregnancy tends to be high in countries where the prevalence of xerophthalmia in children is high and in countries where interventions are in place to reduce childhood vitamin A deficiency. In a younger person, night blindness can often be the first sign of retinitis pigmentosa. This eye disease, which has a genetic link, causes the retina to become damaged and progressively worsens over time. Treatment for night blindness will depend upon its cause. Night blindness can be diagnosed and treated by an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in eye disorders. Opticians can only dispense eye glasses but optometrists may be able to diagnose and treat vision problems.

Causes of Night blindness

The common causes and risk factor's of Night blindness include the following:

  • Lack of vitamin A, which can cause a disorder of the retina and make the eyes very dry.
  • Cataracts (usually in older persons).
  • Retinitis pigmentosa (may be the first sign of the disease in a young person).
  • Certain drugs.
  • Macular degeneration.
  • Birth defect.
  • Trouble adjusting from low levels of light to high levels of light.

Symptoms of Night blindness

Some sign and symptoms related to Night blindness are as follows:

  • Difficulty seeing when driving in the evening or at night.
  • Poor vision in reduced light.
  • Feeling that the eyes take longer to “adjust” to seeing in the dark.

Treatment of Night blindness

Here is list of the methods for treating Night blindness:

  • Vitamin A supplements may prove helpful.
  • Treatment of any underlying cause.
  • Surgery in cases of cataracts.
  • In some cases, prescription glasses can be beneficial as well.


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