Night Blindness: Complete Guide

Night blindness is a condition which you have trouble seeing in night or when there is darkness. This is when you have to adjust your eyes to be able to see properly when you move from the light to dark places.

The issue actually arises in your retina’s rod cells. These cells are actually working as photoreceptors and are converting these light rays into actual electrical signals. This is when your brain interprets them as actual images. Did you know there are two kinds of photoreceptors in the eyes. These are what we call rod cells and cone cells.

The rod cells work great as they specialize in being able to distinguish the colors around you. In this article, I am going to be talking about how night blindness, also we can refer it to as nyctalopia, is actually a condition which is not very difficult to manage. We will be talking about all that is necessary for you to know and understand.

So let’s begin:

What is Night Blindness?

what is night blindness

This is one of the most common types of vision impairment. It is also known as nyctalopia. People who have night blindness are actually those who have very poor vision in night, as well as in dimly-lit areas.

This condition implies that you cannot see at night. But that is necessarily not true. It just means that you are having a hard time being able to see or drive at night, or during the time when there is pitch darkness.

Did you know that there are actually a variation on the types of night blindness. While some of this is treatable, others are not. In cases where your condition is very severe, you should visit your doctor and see the underlying cause. Sometimes the condition can be severe and will need your urgency in the matter. You have to see what is the cause of this condition. And determine what steps you must take so to correct your vision.

What You Should Look Out For

learn about night blindness

When it comes to this condition the major factor or visual you suffer from is sheer difficulty when trying to see in the dark. This is more likely to happen when the transition is happening when you are moving from a bright ambience to an are where there is low light. For example it can take place when you are moving from a sunny place into one which is dimly lit.

You are also likely to experience this condition when you are experiencing poor vision. That is when you are driving and have to suffer from light issues which take place due to intermittent brightness  of the headlights as well as streetlights which come on the road.

Now let’s talk about some of the leading causes of this highly common condition:

What Causes Night Blindness?

what causes night blindness?

There are a few issues and conditions which you should keep an eye out for so to be sure that this can be managed and controlled in a better way. When it comes to causes, these are some of the common ones which you should know:

  • Being nearsightedness this is a condition in which you can see objects and things which are close to you in a proper way but those far away will be blurry. Also same thing goes for having a blurred vision.
  • There is also a condition known as cataracts. This is when you are suffering from the clouding of the eye’s lens.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa is a condition in which you will  notice that there is dark pigment which is collecting in your retina. This is then creating what is called a tunnel vision.
  • Usher syndrome is yet another condition which is also genetically happening. It is when you will notice that a gene condition is causing to affect the hearing as well as your vision. It is something which can actually worsen with time, so it is best that you make regular doctor visits to know how to combat this condition in a proper and controlled manner within time.

Did you know that the condition cataracts is actually more common in adults. This is why it is likely that they will actually develop it before others like younger adults.

Also vitamin A deficiency can play a major role. It is an important element which actually works great in transforming nerve impulses into what we call images in the retina. Having less vitamin A can actually lead to serious impact on the vision.

Glaucoma is a condition in which you will suffer from damage to the optic nerve.  This connects the eye to the brain. It will cause pressure to the eye as well. This can lead to vision impairment. The concern is that the condition can become permanent.

Retinitis Pigmentosa is what we call a rare group of eye diseases. This will damage the retina. It is also a common genetic disorder. It leads to issues with having difficulty in seeing in dim or very less light.

Now let’s talk about the various symptoms which are relating to this condition:

Symptoms to Look Out For:

As you already know night blindness is lead by certain eye conditions. It causes for you to have vision impairment while in dim lighting.

It is something which can actually even prevent you from being able to see the stars at night. Or any obstacles in a dark room!

When talking about Night Blindness, there are a few set, standard questions you should answer:

  • When you are moving around in the house in dim light, does it pose as challenge to you?
  • Is driving at night something which is becoming hard for you to manage?
  • Do you find it hard to recognize faces in the dim light?
  • How long does it take for you to adjust in a light room when you come out of the dark?
  • Will it take you a long time to see the darkened room after having been in the light for a long time?

When talking about symptoms, a few more depends on the condition of your eye dimness. The following symptoms can be severe and happen due to various reasons and include:

  • having continuous headaches
  • getting nauseous uncontrollably
  • getting vomiting sensations
  • a blurry or cloudy vision which you cannot control
  • sensitivity to light which gets worsen as time progresses
  • difficulty in seeing into the distance and when trying, feeling a sense of headache taking over

So now that you have a good understanding of what is night blindness, I want to now talk about the treatment opctions.

Treatment for Night Blindness

consult your doctor for night blindness treatment

When talking about the treatment, you should first look into what are the underlying causes for the same.

There are some major treatment options which can include wearing glasses or even lenses. This will help to correct the vision to some extent. Also when you are wearing these protective glasses, you are not allowing the UV light to reach which actually causes major damage to the eyes.

Also since one of the major ways in which this condition impacts the eyes is because of lack of Vitamin A, we should look into various good sources of vitamin A. This will include:

  • eggs
  • having fortified cereals
  • fortified milk
  • consuming plenty of orange and yellow vegetables and fruits
  • indulge in cod liver oil
  • eating dark, leafy green vegetables

Aside from this, you should adapt a good healthy diet and take care of your eyes by not applying makeup products which may be at risk of hurting or damaging your eyes.

However in some cases, what you need is eye surgery as the condition may be way worse than you thought. Lasik is a type of surgery which is quite common and it is when you actually change the shape of the cornea as this will improve the vision.

Some other surgeries are great as they aim to remove the cataract from the eye or releases the pressure in the eye for the treatment of glaucoma. Also it helps if you are taking precautions to help lower some of the effects, it will serve you greatly.

However in the same, night blindness which happens because of retinitis pigmentosa, is not treatable. The gene which actually causes for this pigment to build up is actually not responding to corrective lenses or even surgery. If you have this type of night blindness, you should avoid driving at night. Just making a few lifestyle changes will allow you to control your condition to some extent.

Now let’s conclude onto how you can prevent this condition:

Prevention Techniques

adapt a healthy diet to prevent night blindness

When it comes to the prevention of this condition, you cannot prevent it if you have certain birth defects or even genetic concerns not in your control.

But it is something which can be managed when you take care of your blood sugar levels. Also try eating a balanced diet. This will make your night blindness manageable. Certain food types you should be eating:

  • cantaloupes
  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • pumpkins
  • butternut squash
  • mangoes, among others

Remember, night blindness may sound scary but it is manageable. When you know how and what needs to be done. It is a condition which can be treated in certain cases and you can adapt these prevention tactics which ensure you are protected to some extent.


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