What is night blindness?
Night blindness, moonblink or nyctalopia is the inability to see or the difficulty to see properly at night or in dim places. It especially takes place in rooms with low light, at dusk and at night.
It is the opposite to hemeralopia or day blindness which consists on difficulty seeing in bright lights.
People with nyctalopia also find very difficult to see when they pass from bright to dim light conditions or in contrasted situations. Sometimes it can severely limit a patient’s life.
Symptoms of night blindness
The main symptoms of moonblink are:
Inability to see at night, problems with driving due to lack of visibility at night, trouble adjusting your eyes to changing light, dry eyes, blurred vision, etc.
Causes of night blindness
The main causes of nyctalopia are:
– Congenital causes: Sometimes this disease is inherited at birth. Some people have a bad adaptation of sight in low light. For example, retinal degeneration (retinitis pigmentosa) or oguchi disease can cause this condition. In retinitis pigmentosa, the photoreceptors cells in the retina, called rod cells, are not able to capture the light. People with this vision disease progressively loose vision, especially at night or in low light conditions. It can also diminish day vision. In oguchi disease, the affected people may need quite a lot time to adapt to dark light.
– Other body diseases, such as hypothyroidism.
– Inadequate diet: A poor diet, especially deficient in vitamin A, can lead to the development of night blindness. Retina cells contains a molecule called retinal which is necessary to see under low conditions of light and to distinguish the different colors of things. (More information about night blindness diet in the listing above)
– Drugs intake: The ingestion of certain drugs or medications, such as quinine, can cause this disease.
– Eyes surgery: Sometimes this disease results from some eyes surgery, such as PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) or LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis)
– Free radicals: A poor diet, aggressive environmental conditions and oxidation of the body itself are the main causes of the appearance of free radicals, for which the eyes are one of the most sensitive organs and the most affected.
Diagnosis and treatment of night blindness
If you suspect the presence of this disease it is prudent to visit a specialist who can diagnose it and its possible causes. Being a problem caused by cataracts, surgery may be advised. Supplements of vitamin A or a rich-vitamin A diet is generally recommended.
It is also advised to stop driving at night when suffering night blindness.
The natural treatment of night blindness involves using a series of natural resources to improve the ability of the eye in capturing light.
More information about night blindness and its natural treatment.
Characteristics of night blindness
28 March, 2019