What is night blindness?
Night blindness (nyctalopia) is the inability to see well at night or in poor light. It is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem, usually a retina problem. It is common for patients who are myopic to have some difficulties with night vision, but this is not due to retinal disease, but rather to optical issues.
What causes night blindness?
Night blindness has many causes, including:
- Glaucoma medications that work by constricting the pupil
- Retinitis pigmentosa
- Vitamin A deficiency
To determine what is causing night blindness, an 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 getting a new eyeglass prescription or switching glaucoma medications, or it may require surgery if the night blindness is caused by cataracts.
If a retinal disease is discovered, the treatment will depend on the type of the disease and will require additional investigation by a retina specialist.
- American Optometric Association. Common Types of Low Vision Accessed 3/23/2015.
- Henderer JD, Rapuano CJ. Chapter 64. Ocular Pharmacology. In: Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC. eds. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2011. mhmedical.com Accessed 3/23/2015.
- Retina International. Night Blindness Accessed 3/23/2015.
© Copyright 1995-2015 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.
Can't find the health information you’re looking for?
This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 3/18/2015…#10118
Schedule an Appointment Online
Call us for an Appointment
To find a Cole Eye Institute specialist for your needs, contact us at 216.444.2020 (or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 42020)
To arrange a same-day visit, call 216.444.CARE (2273)