Night Blindness - Causes & Treatment
Night Blindness or Nyctalopia is a condition where the sufferer is unable to see well at night or in poor lighting such as a restaurant or a movie theater. It highlights the retina’s inability to adapt quickly from a highly to a poorly lit environment.
The explanation for night blindness goes like this: our eyes are adjusting to light at all times. When in a low or no light environment, the pupils will dilate to allow more light to enter the eyes. That light then enters the retina, which comprises of cone cells, which help us to see color and rod cells that help us to see in the dark. When the rod cells malfunction because of a disease or injury, then night blindness sets in.
Probable causes of night blindness are:
Myopia or nearsightedness.
Glaucoma medications may sometimes constrict the pupil.
Retinitis pigmentosa involves the progressive dysfunctioning of the rod cells in the retina.
Vitamin A deficiency, especially in individuals who have had intestinal bypass surgery.
Night blindness is usually diagnosed through an eye exam and the treatment will depend on the cause and may range from getting a new eyeglass prescription to changing the medications for glaucoma, or surgery, if the night blindness has been caused by cataracts. In the case of retinal disease, further investigation will be conducted by a retina specialist and addressed accordingly.
Night blindness cannot be treated at home and needs proper intervention by an eye specialist. It can however be prevented by following a particular lifestyle covering prudent choices like:
Eating Vitamin A-rich foods such as Carrots, Cantaloupes, Butternut squash, Spinach, Milk, and Eggs.
Getting your eyes examined regularly.
Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays of the sun that may increase the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Exercising regularly to lower eye pressure and blood glucose levels.
If you are struggling with vision problems while driving at night or when sitting in a barely lit restaurant, consult your eye specialist right away to prevent the onset of a more serious eye disease.
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