Do You Have Trouble Seeing at Night? Here Is What You Need to Be Aware Of
While it is more difficult for anyone in general to see well at night, most people will notice that their eyes adjust to the dark—making it possible to navigate dark rooms or drive on dark roads. However, millions of Americans suffer from night vision problems.
Unlike other difficulty seeing at night does not have just one cause, explanation, or diagnosis. They can be caused by a variety of different conditions. In any case, it’s a good idea to consult your eye doctor if you have difficulty seeing or driving at night. Ruling out the more serious causes of night vision problems is a good way to ensure long-term vision health.
Here are a few of the conditions that can make it more difficult than usual to see in the dark:
? Cataracts: Cataracts are among the more common causes for night vision problems. As people age, cells within the eyes begin to die. Some of these cells may end up blocking or clouding the lens of the eye, which sits right behind your pupil. These clouded portions of your eye are called cataracts. They can cause dim, fuzzy, or blurry vision—especially in the dark. In fact, diminished night vision is often one of the first symptoms or warning signs of cataracts. Cataracts can be resolved with eye surgery, by replacing the clouded natural lens with a clear artificial one.
? Keratoconus: Keratoconus is a condition where the corneas weaken and begin to lose their natural dome shape, instead bulging out into a cone shape. This shift in corneal shape can result in blurred vision and problems with night vision. In particular, one may notice halos forming around lights in the dark. Keratoconus makes night driving especially challenging and often dangerous. In many patients, vision can be corrected using specialty scleral contact lenses.
? Vitamin A deficiency: Vitamin A is crucial to preserve the health of your retinas. If you have a vitamin A deficiency, then it may be impacting the quality of your vision—especially your night vision. This cause for night blindness is less common in the United States and other developed nations. Most people in these areas have diets that get them enough vitamin A to preserve eye health. (For the record, vitamin A is found in fish, eggs, cheese, carrots, broccoli, squash, and many other vegetables.) However, individuals with health issues that affect digestion or the absorption of nutrients—such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease may also experience vitamin A deficiencies. Another issue might be a lack of zinc in the diet. Zinc itself isn’t essential to eye health, but it helps activate vitamin A nutrients so that you get their full benefit. Without a proper zinc intake, vitamin A might not do its job to preserve your eye health. Beef, fish, and beans are all rich in zinc.
? LASIK complications: Occasionally, patients who have undergone LASIK surgery experience some complications. One of the most common complications is a decrease in the quality of night vision. Specifically, LASIK patients sometimes report seeing glare and halos around lights or other objects. These vision distortions can occur at all hours, but most patients say that they are more of a problem at night. As with keratoconus, scleral lenses provide an effective way of treating post-LASIK or post-surgical vision complications.
? Diabetes: Some diabetes patients have difficulty seeing in low-light conditions. Over time, high blood sugar can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the eyes, bringing about this complication.
If you are experiencing problems with your nighttime vision, contact your eye doctor immediately. At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we would be happy to meet with you, discuss your symptoms, provide a diagnosis, and explore options for treatment or vision correction. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.