Night Blindness

Do you find it difficult to see the stars on a clear night sky? Do you find it difficult to focus on the road soon after getting exposed to the bright headlight from the vehicle that comes in the opposite direction? You are more likely to have night blindness. Night Blindness also called Nyctalopia is a difficulty with vision in the dim light or at night. It can be either hereditary or acquired. The main cause of Night blindness is retinitis pigmentosa, i.e., the inability of the rod cells in the retina to respond to the light. Other causes include

  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Cataracts
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Glaucoma medications
  • Congenital defects (birth defects)
  • Short-sightedness

Risk factors:

Now let’s look at the risk factors that lead to this condition. Below mentioned are the factors that accelerate your chance of getting night blindness.

  • Age: Elderly people are more likely to have night blindness
  • Genetics
  • Glaucoma Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes may also lead to night blindness. Increase in blood glucose level can seriously damage your retina.
  • Poor diet

Disorders that hamper the absorption of vitamin A: Such disorders include,

  • Liver disorders
  • Surgery on the pancreas or liver
  • Intestinal conditions
  • Bowel surgery for obesity


You might find it difficult to see in the dim light or at night. People with night blindness often have trouble with driving at night. Night blindness can be treated and cured, if diagnosed at the initial stage. It can also be an early sign of an underlying disorder.


A thorough eye examination and specialized tests are needed to find out the cause of night blindness. If you have any symptoms of night blindness, consult an eye specialist as soon as possible.


Treatment varies depending on the reason for your night blindness. Here are a few treatment options!

  • Vitamin A supplements
  • Cataract surgery (The clouded natural lens will be replaced by an intra-ocular lens that helps to restore normal vision)
  • Prescription for low-vision aids

In India, cataract surgery costs Rs. 15000-20000 per eye.


Choose a balanced diet with adequate amounts of vitamin A. This may help prevent night blindness.