Back

Night Blindness

(Nyctanopia; Nyctalopia; Day Sight; Nocturnal Amblyopia)

Definition

Night blindness is difficulty seeing in the dark or in low light. One of the most common issues with night blindness is difficulty driving in the evening or at night.
The Retina of the Eye
AR00025 96472 1
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Night blindness is caused by disorders or conditions that affect the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light (cones). Examples include:

Risk Factors

Age is the most common factor that contributes to night blindness. Many eye conditions develop as people get older. Other factors that may increase the chance of night blindness include:

Symptoms

Symptoms are difficulty or inability to see in low light or darkness, even with glasses or contact lenses. While driving, this may also occur a few seconds after the bright headlights of an oncoming car have passed.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A complete eye exam will be done. A blood test can be used to test the amount of vitamin A in your blood.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of night blindness. Options may include:
Night blindness may require taking extra safety precautions when necessary. This may mean avoiding driving in the evening or at night.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of night blindness:

RESOURCES

American Optometric Association http://www.aoa.org

Eye Smart—American Academpy of Ophthalmology http://www.eyesmart.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Ophthalmological Society http://www.cos-sco.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Cataract. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 4, 2015. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Glaucoma and driving. Glaucoma Research Foundation website. Available at: http://www.glaucoma.org/treatment/glaucoma-and-driving.php. Updated April 1, 2013. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Night blindness. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/cole-eye/diseases-conditions/hic-night-blindness. Updated March 18, 2015. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Open-angle glaucoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 19, 2015. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Retinitis pigmentosa. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 30, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Vitamin A. Office of Dietary Supplements website. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional. Updated June 5, 2013. Accessed December 9, 2015.

What is low vision? American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/low-vision.cfm. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Revision Information