Night blindness : Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention.

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Night blindness, also known as nyctalopia is not a disease itself but a symptom of many eye-related problems or any other underlying health condition. We will look upon those causes of night blindness in further article.

A person who is unable to see well / properly at night or in low light conditions is suffering from night blindness.

Night blindness doesn't mean actually that the person cannot see at all; is blind at night, it means he/she might be having  more difficulty in seeing at night than in better lighting conditions.

Basically in this problem, rod cells in eyes of the person who is suffering, are affected. its function of rod cells only to adjust vision according to available light entering eyes. Rhodopsin protein in these cells help eyes processing images in low light and vitamin A produces rhodopsin protein, therefore it is always advised to take ample amount of vitamin A in your diet for better vision.


After reading about this science behind night above in the article, you must've wondered; what things are responsible for this and what causes night blindness.

Night blindness is caused by the following eye problems, health factors, intake of proper nutrition, etc listed below:

1.    Nearsightedness (myopia): This is a very common eye problem nowadays. In this, the person is not able to see clearly far away objects, they seem to be blurry but can see near objects clearly. A person suffering from this can often observe headaches, eyestrain, night-blindness, etc . the person should go for an eye exam, you may refer to our article: 5 signs you need to see a doctor.

2.  Retinitis Pigmentosa: This is a rare genetic disorder. Retinitis pigmentosa is not a specific disease but is a collective term for a group of eye diseases that can lead to loss of sight. In this condition, the retina doesn't work properly leading to loss of vision.

This usually starts in childhood and by the age of 4o(early adulthood), the person becomes blind.

Usually, night blindness is one of its primary symptoms as rod cells in this disorder are affected first.

3.  Vitamin A Deficiency:  As mentioned in the above article, vitamin A produces rhodopsin protein that helps the eyes processing images in low light. That is why the intake of vitamin A is very necessary for the body. Deficiency of vitamin A is the most common cause of night blindness therefore don't forget to add carrots, broccoli, fish, ultimately vitamin A to your diet...

4.  Keratoconus : This is the condition of the eye  in which the cornea becomes thin and gradually bulges outwards curved into a cone shape causing blurred, cloudy  vision and night-blindness.

5.    Cataract: A very common eye problem among old aged people. In this, a dense cloudy layer forms upon the eye lens. It's main symptom is blurry vision but night-blindness is also observed by the person having this problem. To know more about cataract you can refer to our this article...CATARACT.

6.  Diabetes: In diabetes, insulin from the pancreas in the body is not produced in sufficient amounts due to which body cells are not able to take in glucose to be used for energy, making blood with high sugar content. You might be thinking about how diabetes is related to the eyes.

High glucose content in the blood in diabetes can cause slow degradation of nerves damaging them. These nerves can include the optic nerve leading to many vision problems and night-blindness is one of them. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy where the optic nerve or blood vessels nearby are damaged due to diabetes.

 7.  Glaucoma : This again is a condition in which   optic the nerve gets damaged due to increased pressure within the eyeball leading to serious eye problems including loss of vision.

Medications for glaucoma  can also cause night-blindness as it basically focus on decreasing  pressure inside eyes which can cause certain side effects like constriction of the pupil  , burning of pupil and many more ultimately reducing  eye's ability  to take up light or process images in low light etc causing night-blindness.

8.  Genetic conditions like Retinitis pigmentosa (explained above).


As stated above night blindness is itself a symptom to many underlying causes, but how do you know you are suffering from night blindness.

Well, the main symptom of night-blindness is your vision gets poor in dim-lit surroundings. If you are experiencing difficulty in seeing in poor lighting conditions; for e.g. while driving at night, you might be suffering from night-blindness and should immediately contact a nearby eye doctor to find the underlying cause for it and treating it on time to prevent further loss/damage to eyes or any accident which may happen.


Treatment for night-blindness can be done by first identifying the underlying cause behind it. So first you need to contact your eye doctor so that he can proceed. after knowing the cause he will do particular treatment for it. Some causes for night blindness can be treated while some aren't treatable.

Some people say that there is a special night blindness glasses but there are not any glasses made particularly for night-blindness as per our information, your opthalmologist may provide better knowledge about this. But yes your doctor may prescribe you glasses or contact lens if your cause for night-blindness is myopia; again this is the treatment particularly for those suffering from myopia and having night blindness because of this, so the treatment depends on the underlying cause for this symptom of night-blindness.                                         


Well genetic disorders like retinitis pigmentosa and some diseases causing eye problems can't be prevented but yes some of the causes can be prevented easily by very common and small preventive measures stated below:

1.    Including Vitamin A In Your Diet : As mentioned above; deficiency of vitamin A is the most common cause for night-blindness as its role of producing rhodopsin protein which helps in processing images in low light conditions.

Carrots, Cantaloupe, fish, fortified cereals, dairy products, eggs, green vegetables, broccoli, etc are foods rich in vitaminA (you may search for them separately that which foods are rich in vitamin A), you must include them in your diet in order to get the sufficient amount required by your body.

 2.    Regular Checkup On Sugar Levels In Blood:  This is also a very important preventive measure. By keeping a check on your blood sugar levels you can decide your diet so that you can control your blood sugar and don't take too much sugar-based food protecting your optic nerve from diabetic neuropathy or diabetic retinopathy and therefore preventing night-blindness.




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