The Cleveland Clinic

Night blindness

What is Night Blindness?

Night blindness (nyctalopia) is the inability to see well at night or in poor light. It is not a disorder in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder or problem, especially untreated nearsightedness.

What Causes Night Blindness?

Night blindness is due to a disorder of the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light. It has many causes, including:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil
  • Cataracts
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Vitamin A deficiency
In order to determine what is causing night blindness, the eye doctor will perform a thorough eye exam and may order any of a number of specialized exams .

How Is Night Blindness Treated?

Treatment for night blindness will depend upon its cause. Treatment may be as simple as a new prescription for your eyeglasses or switching glaucoma medications, or it may require surgery in cases of cataracts.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.




Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, WebMD, October 2004.


Last Editorial Review: 6/21/2005




STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!