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Understanding Night Blindness

Has someone ever referenced their “night blindness” to you, explaining that they struggle to see at night or experience difficulties particularly when driving in the dark? Can you imagine driving along on I-480 late at night and not being able to see anything? Or, perhaps you have recently noticed a growing difficulty to see at night and are wondering why. You may be noticing halos of light around car headlights or street lamps, making it a challenge to focus while driving. If you are wondering what causes a person’s vision to worsen at night and if anything can be done to change the condition, here is what you should know about night vision problems:

  • Night blindness is not actual blindness. Rather, this term has come to describe a greater difficulty seeing, and in particular driving, in the dark, whether it is actually nighttime or a dimly lit environment.
  • Night blindness has one main symptom. As you might have guessed, the primary symptom of night blindness is a difficulty seeing at night! While this is normally in reference to nighttime driving, you may also find it difficult to see when you transition from a very bright environment, such as outside on a sunny day, and enter a low-lit area, such as a movie theatre.
  • Night blindness can be caused by numerous conditions. While there is one main symptom of night blindness, there are many different conditions that can cause it. For example, a common cause of night blindness is nearsightedness, which means you have trouble seeing objects far off in the distance. A second common cause of night blindness is cataracts, when an eye’s lens becomes cloudy, blurring your vision. In rarer cases, night blindness can be caused by a deficiency of Vitamin A, or retinol.
  • In many cases, night blindness can be treated. After discussing your night vision concerns with your eye doctor, he or she can help you identify a solution for treatment. If your night blindness is attributed to nearsightedness, you may be prescribed corrective glasses or contact lenses for wearing at night. If your night blindness is a sign of cataracts, you may decide to move forward with cataract surgery. While LASIK surgery is not known specifically as a treatment for night blindness, it can be used to correct the underlying issue, or cause, of night vision issues, such as nearsightedness.

If you have concerns regarding night vision issues, contact your eye doctor or the team at LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland.