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.
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:
- Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Vitamin A deficiency
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.