Night blindness, also called nyctalopia, means a person cannot see well at night or in poor light.Night blindness is not an eye condition itself, but is a symptom of other eye problems, such as untreated short-sightedness.Night blindness affects the ability to drive and is a condition the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) needs to be told about.
What causes night blindness?
Night blindness is due to a disorder of the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light. It has many causes, including:
- Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Vitamin A deficiency
In order to determine what is causing night blindness, the optician will perform a thorough eye examination and may arrange any of a number of specialised examinations.
How is night blindness treated?
Treatment for night blindness will depend upon its cause. Treatment may be as simple as a new prescription for your glasses or switching glaucoma medications, or it may require surgery in cases of cataracts.