What is night blindness?

Night blindness develops gradually, which it why it can often escape detection at first. Patients who suffer from night blindness struggle to see properly in the dark or in dim light, and it may evolve into total blindness at night. Healthy eyes also need time to adapt to dark spaces, but if your eyes do not adapt at all, you might be suffering from night blindness. The eye contain light-sensitive cells, which are also known as rods and cones. We only use the cones in the light, however, so in patients who suffer from night blindness, the rods are at fault. The rods are meant to catch up as much light as possible in the dark, so that we can still see despite the lack of light. If the rods do not work properly, however, you will see virtually nothing in the dark.

Among other things, a vitamin A deficiency can be the source of this eye disease. Vitamin A contributes to properly functioning rods In some patients, night blindness may be hereditary, as the most common form is caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa. In addition, Glaucoma and cataracts can also cause night blindness, and certain drugs can also affect your eyesight. Medication for high blood pressure or heart problems, antidepressants and eye drops may have an adverse effect on vision and cause night blindness.

Night Blindness Treatment

After diagnosis by an ophthalmologist, it will become clear whether treatment is possible, as this depends on the cause. There is no treatment for hereditary night blindness, which is usually caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa. If your night blindness is the result of a vitamin A deficiency, a healthy diet and nutritional supplements may be a solution. If your problems are caused by cataracts, a new lens can eliminate the symptoms, and medication can be prescribed to ease the problems if they are caused by Glaucoma. Some people benefit from special night glasses, which increase contrast and reduce glare, thus improving vision in the dark or in dim light.

Diet and nutritional supplements to combat night blindness

As with all other eye conditions, a healthy lifestyle is very important! The best steps you can take are refraining from smoking, consuming little to now alcohol, and eating nutritious meals. Our eyes need nutrients to stay healthy, most importantly: Antioxidants, Alpha-lipoic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, C and zinc. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are also very important, but seeing as our bodies are incapable of producing these pigments, we have to depend on food or supplements. Food that contains these nutrients is very good for your eyes, but you can also take nutritional supplements in addition to your daily diet. Always make sure to consult with your doctor before you start taking supplements with your medication.