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General Practice 2023

Night blindness: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Night blindness: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Night blindness: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Night blindness, scientifically known as nyctalopia, is difficulty seeing in low-light environments, such as at night, when it is darker. However, people with this disorder may have completely normal vision during the day.

However, night blindness is not a disease, but a symptom or complication of another problem, such as xerophthalmia, cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, it is always important to consult an ophthalmologist to assess the presence of another eye disease and initiate appropriate treatment.

Symptoms of night blindness

The main symptom of night blindness is difficulty seeing in dark environments, especially when moving from a bright environment to a darker one, such as when entering a house or during sunset, for example.Therefore, it is recommended that people with untreated night blindness should avoid driving at the end of the day or at night, to ensure their safety.

Main causes

Night blindness is an alteration that occurs due to alterations in cells present in the retina of the eye, the rods, in which one of the pigments of the receptors of these cells, known as rhodopsin, is reduced, directly interfering with the ability of the eye on processing objects in low light. The main causes of night blindness are:

  • Vitamin A deficiency;
  • Cataract;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Retinitis pigmentosa;
  • Myopia.

Thus, it is important that the ophthalmologist is consulted as soon as the difficulty in seeing in low light is noticed so that it is possible to perform an ophthalmological examination and, thus, to identify the cause of night blindness and initiate treatment most appropriate.Understand how the eye exam is done.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for night blindness depends on the cause that is causing the changes in retinal receptors. Therefore, some of the forms of treatment that may be indicated by the doctor are:

  • Glasses and contact lenses: are used especially in cases of myopia to improve vision;
  • Eyedrops: allow you to control eye pressure in cases of glaucoma, improving symptoms;
  • Vitamin A supplements: recommended in cases of vitamin A deficiency xerophthalmia;
  • Surgery: Used to treat cataracts in the elderly and improve vision.

In addition, if any other retinal disease is identified, the doctor may order further tests such as an optical tomography or ultrasound to confirm the adaptation of the treatment, which may take longer.

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