Night blindness is difficulty seeing in the dark or in low light. One of the most common issues with night blindness is difficulty driving in the evening or at night.
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Night blindness is caused by disorders or conditions that affect the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light (cones). Examples include:
Age is the most common factor that contributes to night blindness. Many eye conditions develop as people get older. Other factors that may increase the chance of night blindness include:
Symptoms are difficulty or inability to see in low light or darkness, even with glasses or contact lenses. While driving, this may also occur a few seconds after the bright headlights of an oncoming car have passed.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A complete eye exam will be done. A blood test can be used to test the amount of vitamin A in your blood.
Treatment depends on the cause of night blindness. Options may include:
Night blindness may require taking extra safety precautions when necessary. This may mean avoiding driving in the evening or at night.
To help reduce your chance of night blindness:
American Optometric Association
Eye Smart—American Academpy of Ophthalmology
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
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Vitamin A. Office of Dietary Supplements website. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional. Updated June 5, 2013. Accessed December 9, 2015.
What is low vision? American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/low-vision.cfm. Accessed December 9, 2015.
Last reviewed December 2015 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 12/9/2015