How to Improve Your Night Vision

As you begin to age, the ability to see clearly at night can begin to deteriorate. This is a common condition referred to as night blindness (or nyctalopia). The good news is that there are some things that you can do to improve your night vision.

For more questions regarding eye health and information on LASIK in Orange County, trust the experts at Advanced Eye Medical.

Causes of Night Blindness

Night blindness is the result of a disorder of cells near the retina. Several eye conditions that seem to develop in people as they age also seem to be the cause of night blindness, which is why night blindness seems to be a disorder that comes with age. Some common causes of night blindness include myopia (or nearsightedness), macular degeneration (cataracts), glaucoma, glaucoma medications (which close the pupil), diabetes, as well as a deficiency in Vitamin A.

To determine what may be the cause of night blindness, one should seek out the help of an eye doctor who may run specialized tests to pinpoint the root cause of the poor night vision.

Impact of Night Blindness

It is important to note that night blindness does not merely imply the time of the day. Night blindness is related to the amount of light available, which means that poorly lit rooms are also a problem. For those that suffer from night blindness, everyday tasks can become extremely challenging. Anything from driving or walking at night, to trying to read or knit at home.

Obviously, not being able to do some tasks at home can be frustrating, but being unable to drive or walk at night can be very dangerous. The result is that some people who suffer from night blindness begin to stay at home, too afraid to go out at night with the inability to get themselves home safely. This can wreak havoc on their self-confidence and social life.

Ways to improve Night Blindness

The good news is that there are some things that you can do to help improve your vision at night. Here are some things that you can do to improve your night vision:

Avoid Looking at Bright Lights

Whenever your eyes are exposed to bright lights, it forces the pupils to contract. By doing this, it increases the amount of time that it takes for your vision to adjust to the low light. This is one of the reasons why driving is such a big concern for those with night blindness. While driving, it’s very easy to become literally blinded from the headlights and bright lights that can be unavoidable while driving. It becomes very challenging to adjust again to the low light and that’s not a place where you want to be if you’re behind the wheel. If bright lights are unavoidable, cover or close your eyes until the bright light passes. By protecting your eyes from these bright light sources, you will help your eyes avoid the struggle to become acclimated to the low light. (Also, you should never, under any circumstances, look straight at the sun!)

Increase Your Vitamin A Intake

Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to night blindness, so by increasing your Vitamin A intake, you can help to improve your night vision. You can do this with the help of dietary supplements, as well as through natural sources of Vitamin A, including dairy products, liver, fish, carrots, broccoli, squash and cantaloupe.

Adjust Your Eyes to Darkness Naturally

One of the best ways to help your eyes learn to see in the dark is to let your eyes slowly and naturally adjust to low light. The best way to do this is by sitting in complete darkness for at least 20 minutes before going out at night. You can also cover your eyes or use a sleep mask to help aid this practice.

Blink Often and Keep Your Eyes Moving

When you are out where it is dark, it is helpful if you keep blinking and keep your eyes moving, not allowing your eyes to focus on the available light source on any one object you may become focused on. For example, think about when you may be sitting in a car at night and if you pull out your mobile phone. After staring at the bright light omitted by your phone, you may notice some time needed to adjust your eyes when you look away from your phone. The same thing happens when you are out and begin focusing your eyes on other forms of light sources.

Give Your Eyes a Gentle Massage

Close your eyes tightly or apply slight pressure on both of your eyes with your palms. Do not press too hard. After about 5-10 seconds, your vision will momentarily turn white and when the white goes away, the black will come back. You can then open your eyes and your vision will be significantly improved in the dark.

Use Red-Tinted Glasses

Red-tinted glasses are used to help with improving night vision, as it helps to train your eyes to focus better. This is a common trick used by pilots and aviators. Also, it may be helpful to find a vehicle that utilizes red dashboard controls and buttons, over blue, green or white ones.

The above tips may be helpful to improve your night vision, but if you are and/or continue to struggle with night blindness, none of these tricks should replace medical treatment recommended by a licensed medical professional who can properly diagnose and treat you for your symptoms.

LASIK in Orange County

If you are suffering from night blindness, contact our medical professionals at Advanced Eye Medical at 1-866-997-2020 or by e-mail at info@laserforeyes.com to schedule a consultation for LASIK in Orange County. We can help diagnose and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Contact Advanced Eye Medical today!

Driving Safely with Aging Eyes

Once your vision begins to go due to age, you may think that it is unsafe to drive a car. However, it is completely possible to still drive safely once your vision begins to age if you’re careful. As driving is fundamental to a person’s freedom and sense of self, it makes sense that people would want to be able to drive as long as possible. If you are going to drive into your senior years though, you need to be aware of your vision limitations and how they will affect your driving. With that in mind, here are some tips you can use to make sure that you drive safely as your eyes age, both for yourself and for other drivers.

Problems That Affect Your Eyes As They Age

In order to successfully drive with aged eyes, you need to be aware of the problems that can and will occur and how this will affect your driving. For one, your eyes will lose a certain amount of flexibility, which will make it harder for you to focus on fast moving objects on the road or change your focus quickly. This will also make it more difficult to drive at night, as the headlights of other cars will make refocusing on the on the road difficult. Make sure that you focus solely on the road and don’t get distracted, as you need to keep in mind that your eyes will be more sensitive to brightness and that your peripheral vision will make hazards on the road less obvious.

What You Need To Do To Drive More Safety

Once you are aware of what problems your aged vision is causing, it will be easier to drive around them and be safe and careful on the road. If you have any sort of vision disorder, you should be wearing eyeglasses while driving, as this will improve your focus and help you to detect any vision problems you may have not been aware of. You should also go for regular eye exams and check your mirrors and blind spots frequently, as your vision will be less reliable as you age.

If you make sure that you are driving in safe conditions and using a clean and reliable vehicle, you will have less problems on the phone. While you will always need to compensate for your aged vision, being safe and driving at appropriate speeds will allow you to take risk and maintain the freedom that driving a vehicle provides.