Everyone’s vision changes in the dark. You’ve probably found yourself stumbling around your bedroom in the night, arms outstretched to stop you from walking into walls while your eyes adjust to the lack of light. But some people have more difficulty seeing in dim or poor lighting than others. This is what we call night blindness or nyctalopia.
Rather than being an eye condition, night blindness is a symptom of other eye issues – for example, short sightedness, glaucoma or cataracts – though not everyone with these eye conditions will suffer from night blindness.
Those with night blindness may struggle to see stars in the sky on a clear night, or have difficulty driving in the dark. This is because the eye develops an area of diminished vision in its centre leaving you unable to see things in front of you as clearly as you would in daylight. You eye is also unable to spot stationary objects as well as it is moving objects – this is why driving with night vision can be dangerous.
If you think you may have night blindness it is important to visit your local optician. At Eye Emporium, there are different tests that we use to determine whether a patient has night blindness. These include a routine eye examination to test your visual acuity, ability to see colours, and your pupils’ reaction to light. We will also check your prescription for vision correction, and look at the health of parts that make up your eye, such as the cornea and the retina. We also like to check your visual fields which can detect issues with your central or peripheral vision, which in turn can detect conditions like glaucoma.
There’s nothing to worry about if you are diagnosed as having night blindness. There are things we at Eye Emporium can do to help you treat it, but it is important that if you are a driver you let the DVLA know, even if you are treated, otherwise you risk a hefty fine!
Typically, treatment for night blindness will depend on the cause of the symptom. If it is caused by short sightedness for example, you may just need a new pair of glasses with different lenses. If it is caused by cataracts you may need to consider surgery to remove the cataracts. Whatever the cause our experts at Eye Emporium will spend as much time as you need to discuss the treatments with you.
As always, if you have any concerns about your vision, or you’re simply due an eye examination, our team at Eye Emporium would be delighted to help. Simply give us a call on 0800 020 9209 today.