People who have night blindness experience difficulty seeing in dark environments. Some cases are treatable, while others are not.
Your local vision therapy provider, Park Slope Eye, discusses what you need to know about night blindness.
The only symptom of night blindness is difficulty seeing in darkness. You may experience night blindness when your eyes transition from a bright environment to a dimly lit one, like when you turn off the lights in a room. Driving with lowly lit headlights or down a poorly lit road can also increase the likelihood of experiencing night blindness.
What Causes It?
Existing eye conditions, such as nearsightedness, cataract or retinitis pigmentosa can cause night blindness. Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that impairs hearing and vision. Older people and diabetes patients are more likely to experience night blindness since they are at higher risk of developing cataracts.
Rarely, vitamin A deficiency can result in night blindness. Also known as retinol, this vitamin is essential to the conversion of nerve impulses into images in the retina. Pancreatic insufficiency or cystic fibrosis halts the absorption of fat in the body. Vitamin A is fat-soluble so patients with the condition are at a higher risk of vitamin A deficiency. Always consult your eye doctor before taking any supplements.
Treatment and Management
The treatment for night blindness depends on what caused it. Surgery may be necessary if it’s caused by cataracts. Your doctor might prescribe vitamin supplements if you have a vitamin A deficiency. A new eyeglass prescription may also be helpful. However, there is no cure for night blindness caused by genetic conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Visit your eye doctor as soon as possible if you’re experiencing difficulties with your vision. You can rely on Park Slope Eye for vision therapy, quality eyeglasses, contact lenses, myopia control and more. Schedule an appointment online to learn more about our services. We assist patients in Brooklyn, NY, and surrounding areas.