Night blindness or nyctalopia affects vision clarity in low light conditions and can significantly impact performance of daily activities. Night blindness doesn’t only affect your night vision, but can also cause vision problems in dimly lit areas, such as restaurants or theaters.

If you’re having problems driving at night, especially with the intense glare from the headlights of oncoming traffic you may have night blindness. If you have trouble recognizing faces or objects in low light conditions, or if you find it difficult to read a menu in a dimly lit restaurant, you may be experiencing the effects of night blindness.

Night blindness is not an eye condition itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. It can be caused by eye disease, deteriorating vision due to myopia, or a vitamin A deficiency. Improving your diet, always wearing sunglasses when outside during the day, even increasing your level of daily exercise can help, but if a disease is causing your night blindness, professional help in diagnosing and treating your eyes is crucial.

A common cause of night blindness can be glaucoma. Glaucoma is a progressive ocular disease that causes vision loss from damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for carrying visual signals from the retina to the brain. The most common form of glaucoma occurs when there is high pressure inside the eye caused by a buildup of fluid that cannot drain properly.

Eye pressure is a major risk factor for damage caused by glaucoma. However, patients can have glaucoma without having high eye pressure and vice versa. Patients with low or normal eye pressure may still develop glaucoma. 

In addition to night blindness, glaucoma can cause a deterioration in your peripheral vision, sometimes referred to as “side vision” and this is one of the earliest symptoms of the disease. During a routine eye exam, in addition to other tests, your provider will check your peripheral vision.

There are many different treatments for glaucoma, including eye drops, surgery, and laser procedures. Even with treatment, some people with glaucoma still experience vision loss. The highest risks are in people with a family history of glaucoma and anyone over age 60, especially of Mexican American descent, and African Americans over age 40.

Glaucoma, if left untreated, can cause irreversible blindness, and is in fact the number one cause of blindness worldwide.

Glaucoma can cause vision loss before the patient recognizes any symptoms. It is therefore important to schedule regular eye exams, as new diagnostic tests are available to detect early signs of glaucoma and are essential in preventing vision loss. 

Since 1903, the Cheyenne Eye Clinic and Surgery Center has provided comprehensive eye care services to improve our patients’ sight and enhance their lives. If you are experiencing any problems with your vision, if you need a routine vision checkup, or if you want more information about us, check out our website or contact us at 307-400-4091.

Notice

Our Optical Department will close at 2:00 PM on November 20th to attend the memorial service for a dear friend and colleague. 

We apologize for the inconvenience.