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Night Blindness Information and Treatment

Night Blindness is the inability to see in dim light or at night due to a deficiency of vitamin A. It is due to a disorder of the cells (rods) in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light. Rods are one of the two types of light sensitive cells in the retina. Night blindness may cause problems with driving in the evening or at night. Consult your health care provider or eye doctor. It is important to have a complete eye exam to determine the cause, which may be treatable.

The human eye contains 125 million rods, which are necessary for seeing in dim light. They contain a pigment-visual purple-which is broken down (bleached) in day light and regenerated in the dark. When this doesnot occur, night blindness results. Night blindness is a complex subject. Doctors now know that it can result from nutritional factors, genetics, uncorrected nearsightedness or an eye disease such as cataracts, macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa. And anything that affects vitamin A metabolism, such as liver disease, intestinal surgery, malabsorption or alcoholism, can also cause the problem.

Causes of Night Blindness

List of some of the common causes of night blindness :

Severe vitamin A deficiency due to malnutrition, starvation

Cataracts (usually in older persons)

Retinitis pigmentosa (may be the first sign of the disease in a young person)

Poor adaptation to darkness (not caused by any disease), often accompanied by myopia (nearsightedness)

Vitamin A deficiency

Certain drugs

Birth defect

Degeneration of the retina


Clinical Features of Night Blindness

1. Sudden or increasing difficulty seeing in dim light.

2. Difficulty experienced while driving at night.

3. Inability to see the night stars that are visible to others.

4. Lossof weight, wasting, protrudent belly.

Management of Night Blindness

1. This calls for an immediate consultation with an eye doctor.

2. Improve diet and nutrition

3. Improve lighting in the house.

4. VitaminA, E and C.

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