Nyctalopia, also known as night blindness makes it difficult for you to see at night as well as in areas that are dimly lit. Although it does not cause complete blindness it can make seeing at night very difficult, and can sometimes make driving unsafe. Here is everything you need to know about night blindness:

Causes

Causes of night blindness can include:
• Nearsightedness
• Cataracts
• Retinitis pigmentosa, the collection of dark pigment in your retina
• Usher syndrome
• Age
• Vitamin A deficiency
• Diseases of the liver or pancreas
• High blood glucose levels and diabetes

Symptoms

If you are having eye problems such as difficulty seeing in the dark you should speak to your eye doctor to discuss the possibility you may have night blindness. This can include difficulty transitioning from bright light to low light, difficulty driving at night or difficulty seeing in dimly lit rooms.

Treatment

If you are experiencing difficulty seeing at night or in darker rooms set up an eye exam with your doctor. They will examine your eyes, discuss your eye problems and in some cases may check your blood to measure your vitamin A and glucose levels. Your eye doctor can then prescribe corrective lenses to improve vision at night. Your eye doctor may also determine what is causing your eye problems and will consider recommending vitamin supplements for a vitamin A deficiency.
As well, genetic conditions like retinitis pigmentosa cannot be treated and therefore you will have to avoid night driving.

If cataracts are at fault your doctor may recommend surgery to replace your cloudy lens with an artificial lens which will make a significant improvement to your vision.

Prevention

Maintaining proper blood sugar levels with a healthy diet can help lessen the risk of night blindness. A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals will help you avoid cataracts. The following foods are recommended if you wish to lessen your risk for night blindness:

• cantaloupes and mangoes
• sweet potatoes and carrots
• pumpkins and butternut squash
• spinach and collard greens
• milk and eggs

Paying close attention to your eye problems and changes to your vision can help you seek help for any issues that might arise. Night vision can be caused by a number of factors and a visit to your eye doctor will help discover what is affecting your sight so your doctor can find a solution.

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