Night Blindness


Night blindness is not a complete lack of vision at night, as the name implies. It is a below-average ability to see at night or in low light. Night blindness, unlike color blindness, is not a disorder in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. It can occur in people of all ages, even young children.

Your night vision naturally differs from your day vision in many ways. In darkness, the eye is basically color blind; visual acuity is poor, and the eye sees only a fraction of what it sees in daylight. A central scotoma appears in the center of the visual field; and the eye is unable detect stationary objects as well as it can detect moving objects.

Close-Up of a Blue Eye

If you have night blindness, you will have consistent difficulties in seeing at night, but will be able to see normally during the day or when an adequate amount of light is present. You will not be able to see objects in the dark that are easily visible to others, and your eyes may need more time to adjust after you go from a brightly lit space into a dark space, such as a movie theater. People with night blindness often have problems driving at night. If you have a history of poor night vision, whether it is a recent occurrence or a long-standing problem, you should see your eye doctor for an evaluation.


Symptoms of night Blindness can vary on an individual basis for each patient. Symptoms include weak vision in dim light, difficulty seeing during night driving, and slow vision adaption between bright and dim light conditions. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed night blindness symptoms.

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of night blindness. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor regarding your symptoms Retinitis pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration, Rod-Cone Dystrophy, Cataracts, Vitamin A deficiency, Cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis of the liver.

Testing for Night Blindness

If you have difficulty seeing at night, it is important to visit your eye care professional. He or she will perform tests to determine whether you have night blindness and whether it may be connected to an underlying disease. The eye examination will include the following such as tests to measure your visual acuity, ability to see colors, and your pupil light reflex, refraction test to measure your prescription for eye glasses orcontact lenses.

Slit lamp examination to examine the structures in the front of the eye, including conjunctiva, cornea, eyelids, iris, lens, and sclera and retinal examination to look for any damage to the structures in the back of the eye.

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