Do you prefer to drive during the daytime? Do you have trouble seeing at night? If night driving is difficult, millions of Americans feel the same way. There are many different things that may cause trouble seeing at night. It can be as simple as needing a new eyeglass prescription, lacking vitamins, over exposure to the sun or the presence of cataracts. If you find that you are having trouble seeing at night, contact your eye doctor to rule out diseases that could cause long term loss of vision.
Below are some of the most common causes of vision loss in adults.
- Cataracts. The eye’s lens is located behind the pupil. As you age cells grow and die inside of the lens. This causes debris to build up and leads to cataracts. Cataracts are not painful, however they will gradually cloud your lens. One of the first symptoms of cataracts is decreased visibility at night. Blurry vision is also common with cataracts or seeing halos around objects.
- Lack of vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in many leafy vegetables and also in carrots. It helps to keep the retina healthy. While it is not common for many Americans to lack vitamin A, diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease or Gastric bypass may make it difficult for the body to absorb needed vitamins. Not getting enough of needed vitamins can increase the chance of having decreased night visibility.
- Retinitis pigmentosa. This is a rare genetic disorder that mostly affects younger people before they reach the age of 30. A decline in night vision is usually the first symptom, but can lead to total loss of vision.
- Sunlight exposure. Having large amounts of sun light exposure, after a trip to the local ski resort or laying out on the beach, can burn your eyes. This is known as sun blindness and can last for a few days or longer depending on the amount of exposure and the frequency that you experience this exposure. Wearing sunglasses helps to prevent permanent damage to your eyes from the sun.
While many of these conditions can cause difficulty seeing at night, most of them are preventable or able to be treated. If night driving is difficult for you, talk with your eye doctor to rule out any treatable cause.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.