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.
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 email@example.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!