Unlike popular notion, night blindness is not actual blindness but rather the inability to see during night time or in areas of reduced illumination. Also known as Nyctalopia, night blindness is more often a symptom of an underlying disease rather than a disease in itself.
Let’s have a look at what really causes it and how you can prevent it. The symptom of night blindness:-
The only symptom of night blindness is evident from its name itself. The inability to see clearly at night time or in low light is the major symptom of night blindness.
As mentioned before nyctalopia is often a symptom itself of some underlying disease. Some of the possible causes of it include:
• Cataract: Cataract is a cloudy protein clump that forms on the lens thereby interfering with your vision. People with this condition find it especially difficult to see in low illuminated spaces.
• Diabetic retinopathy: High level of sugar in the blood often leads to damaged blood vessels in the eye causing vision loss. Inability to see clearly at night is one of the first symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.
• Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a progressive disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. Often diagnosed post 45–50, night blindness is a pretty common symptom of glaucoma.
• Sun exposure: Spending long hours in harsh sunlight can cause damage to the eyes. If night blindness is worse after spending hours in the sun, it might be an indicator of sun damage.
How to prevent night blindness:-
Night blindness caused by genetic conditions might be hard to prevent. But there are still preventative measures that can be taken to ensure night blindness is kept at bay.
• Eating a diet rich in vitamin A can help prevent night blindness. Additionally, dietary supplements might also help in treating the deficiency. Foods such as oranges, yellow foods & green leafy vegetables can be a rich source of vitamin A and should be incorporated in the diet.
• Although some types of eye conditions might be unavoidable, nyctalopia stemming from diabetes can be totally avoided. Regular exercise, a healthy diet & an active stress-free lifestyle can keep the eyes healthy as well!
• The importance of regular eye check-ups cannot be stated enough. A few eye conditions like glaucoma often have no symptoms during the initial stages. Regular check-ups help in screening & catching these diseases early. Thus, also helping find a cure or treatment faster.
Ensure that you are regular with your eye check-ups with a trained ophthalmologist or optometrist.
• Sun exposure accounts for many eye disorders. And it is something that is totally avoidable. Keeping your eyes protected can keep eye conditions such as cataract at bay. Consult a trained optometrist to invest in a good pair of sunglasses, which not only limit your sun exposure but also protect your eyes from UV rays.