If you suffer from night blindness you might want to know night blindness causes so you can try to reverse the condition or seek help from a professional. Night blindness is also known as nyctalopia and is simply the inability to see in dark lighting conditions. When you are unable to discern shapes and images when in low lighting, it can lead to near blindness in these conditions making driving at night or even walking in your home at night very dangerous.
There are many different night blindness causes that vary from individual to individual. A lack of vitamin A is a common night blindness cause. When your body is deficient in vitamin A it can cause a disorder of the retina, located in the eye, which will make the eye very dry.
Another common cause of night blindness is cataracts. Cataracts are a condition where the lens of the eye actually becomes cloudy. This may cause vision problems in higher level lighted areas but the problems will be amplified at night or in darkness.
Other night blindness causes are medication, birth defects of many different varieties, as well as the inability to adjust from high levels of light to low levels of light. Many people who suffer from night blindness also suffer from one of many forms of retinal degeneration, such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Some individuals are more at risk of developing night blindness than others. For instance, those who have a family history of retinal degeneration, older people, those with cataracts, and those who have a diet that is deficient in Vitamin A. Many people who are deficient in vitamin A are deficient because of specific health conditions or experiences that have left their body unable to properly absorb vitamin A. Often people who have liver disorders, who have had surgery on the pancreas or liver, or those with intestinal conditions have a difficult time absorbing vitamin A properly.
Many people who are experiencing night blindness may also be experiencing a loss of vision during the daylight hours. Other associated symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, inability to discern shapes in darker lighting, and dry or gritty feeling in the eyes. These are not the causes but simply other symptoms that are often experienced by those with night blindness.
Treatment for night blindness will really depend on the cause. In some cases simply taking a vitamin A supplement will improve the night vision exponentially. It may take a few weeks or months for the vision to be corrected, but vitamin A will make an impact for those who are deficient. In the case of cataracts, when then cataracts are removed the individual will often no longer suffer from night blindness. Eating a diet with a higher amount of vitamin A may also be helpful for all individuals. In cases of birth defects or retinal degeneration, treatment is considered on a case by case basis. In some instances, there is very little or nothing that can be done to help improve night blindness.
It is important if you believe that you are suffering from night blindness that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of some retinal degeneration will allow for the degeneration to be slowed so you can maintain your sight for a longer period of time, and perhaps recover some of your sight. You should not drive at night and you should take care when doing anything in low lighting so you do not trip, or fall, or otherwise hurt yourself. Night blindness can cause confusion and disorientation, so when possible, avoid situations where you will need to navigate yourself or a vehicle until you can be seen by a doctor.