Understanding Night Blindness And Its Treatments


If you've ever walked into a dark room after being outside in bright sunlight, you've probably experienced brief night blindness. Night blindness is that period of time that it takes for your retina to adjust to the change in light from brightness to darkness, and it's usually just a passing problem. However, if you've found that your eyes don't adapt to darkness as quickly as most or if they don't adapt well at all, you may suffer from prolonged night blindness. Here's a look at what you should know before you call your optometrist.

What Causes It?

When your eyes are exposed to changes in light, the cones and rods in your retina react to help clear up your vision. When there's a physical defect in those cones and rods, they won't react properly, leading to poor vision in the dark. These defects can be genetic or they can develop as the result of other problems.

For example, a deficiency in vitamin A can cause problems with retinal development, which can cause night blindness. In addition, patients with nearsightedness may struggle with night blindness as well. In addition, if you're taking medication for glaucoma, those medications can cause the pupils to constrict, which will affect your eye's ability to adapt to light changes.

What Can You Do About It?

The treatment for night blindness usually focuses on addressing the underlying problem that's caused it. Once that underlying issue is addressed, the night blindness usually corrects itself.

For example, if it's due to a deficiency in vitamin A, taking vitamin A supplements and increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamin A can help to correct the problem. Foods like leafy greens, carrots, and fish are great places to get vitamin A. Once your body is no longer deficient, your vision should respond with proper night adjustments. It's important to recognize the deficiency as the cause early, however, to avoid any lasting damage.

If you are nearsighted and struggle with night blindness, you can significantly improve the symptoms by seeing an eye doctor for a proper vision correction prescription. With the right contacts or glasses, you can nearly eliminate the symptoms of night blindness.

For patients struggling with night blindness due to glaucoma, you'll want to talk with your eye doctor about your treatment options to see if there's another approach that could reduce the symptoms.

Identifying the cause is the first step to addressing night blindness. Once you do, you can work with an eye doctor, like one from San Juans Vision Source, to determine the best possible treatment method.


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