What is Night blindness | Symptoms | prevention | Causes

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Night Blindness

What is Night blindness?

Night blindness is also known as Nyctalopia which came from Greek language NYCT means night and Al came from Aloa which mean is Blind and OPIA mean is a vision when you will combine these word so it shall be called as Night blind vision people who are affected by this are not be able to see in the night and they can experience difficulty while driving the vehicle at night.

 

Types

There are of two types of this Disease

  • Acquired 
  • Congenital

 

ACQUIRED 

If you were not born night blind but due to your diet or any other problem it affected you for example Rhodopsin chemical is not working properly so it will be called as Acquired.

 

CONGENITAL 

If you were born blind due to any problem in the X-chromosome or if it is absent

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of night blindness may different for each patient Its main symptoms are

  • Poor exposure
  • Difficulty seeing while driving at night
  • Adapting very slowly between low light to bright light

But you must go to the doctor because only your doctor can provide an adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and can tell, if all those symptoms are signs of this disease.

Night blindness causes

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Vitamin A deficiency and Xerophthalmia
  • Cataracts
  • Myopia
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

This is a rare genetic condition in which the eye’s response to low light changes.  The disease begins with a decrease in the ability to see at night, In this, retinal photoreceptor cells rod, and con cells start to deteriorate Hence there is no cure for this disease and eventually it leads to blindness.

 

Vitamin A deficiency and Xerophthalmia

One of the most common causes of night blindness is vitamin A deficiency, the shocking fact is that the problem is very large in developing countries like India Malnutrition and unbalanced eating is a major cause of night blindness in young children Treatment is often delayed, as children are unable to accurately tell symptoms Xerophthalmia is a disease in which there is dryness of the eye membrane and this problem is caused by vitamin A deficiency

 

Cataracts

This is a problem that occurs in older people and it causes blurring of the eye lens Night blindness can also occur as a symptom of cataract

 

Myopia

Blurred vision at night may be due to myopia

Other reason

  • Heredity
  • Diet
  • Age

In other cases, the person may have Nyctalopia or it may be due to the use of certain medicines (such as medication for glaucoma)

 

Heredity – People with retinitis Pigmentosa are more likely to develop night blindness

Diet – People who do not eat enough sources of vitamin A, such as green leafy vegetables, eggs, and milk products, are at a higher risk of night blindness

Age – Older people are more likely to have night blindness

 

Night blindness treatment

  • People with night blindness may be asked to put on glasses to help driving at night
  • In myopia eyeglasses or contact lenses are used to improve vision
  • Certain drugs such as Quinidine that cause night blindness should be replaced with some other alternative medicine
  • Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that removes blurring accumulated on the eye lens and improves vision which improves night blindness
  • People suffering from vitamin A deficiency should consume foods rich in vitamin A,
  • Vitamin A should be given orally or by injection according to children’s age and severity of illness

Diagnosis of  Night Blindness

Some cases of night blindness can be treated depending on the cause of the problem, while some cases are untreated  Upon experiencing its symptoms the patient should immediately go to an ophthalmologist to diagnose the problem, Night blindness is diagnosed in the following:

  • Tests for measuring the intensity of vision Tests for measuring reflectance of the light of the papillary and the ability to see color
  • Tests to confirm the number given for eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • Slit lamp test to see the structure of the eye.
  • Testing done with an Ophthalmoscope to check for eye injury

Other Tests

In addition, to all of the above tests, your doctor may also test your electroretinogram This test is used to measure the reactions of lights and the response of rod and con cells to light

Visual field testing may also be done to look for the possibility of other diseases such as glaucoma or brain stroke

Prevention of Night blindness

Include plenty of vitamin A in your diet
Source of vitamin-A are following

 

  • Collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish liver oil and liver
  • Papaya
  • Carrots
  • Mangoes
  • Melon
  • Capsicum

Get your eye checked regularly by an Ophthalmologist
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