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Help! I Have Trouble Seeing While Driving at Night

Seeing at night, referred to as scotopic vision, happens when your pupils widen to gather as much light and information about shapes and outlines as they can. 

If you have problems seeing things at night, navigating the streets in a car can be very difficult even on well-illuminated roads with your headlights. This problem is known as nyctalopia or night blindness, and to understand why it happens and how it can be managed, we discuss what it is, what causes it, and what can be done. 

If you live in the Pelham Gardens area of the Bronx, New York, and you’re having problems seeing things at night, the team of specialists at Bronx Eye Associates can help make things clearer in the dark.

Understanding night blindness

When we need to see things in dark rooms or at night, our pupils widen triggering low-light photoreceptors in our eyes (rods) and our vision adjusts so things become clearer even if they are not completely visible. 

Night blindness is a symptom of other conditions that compromise some part of the process of your eyes adjusting to gather information in dimly lit environments. Anything that affects the amount of light your eyes receive at night directly impacts what you can see.

Underlying causes

Several eye problems can affect how well your eyes take in light, including:

Other factors can play a role in diminished vision at night, such as vitamin A deficiency, glaucoma, pancreatic insufficiency (in people with illnesses like cystic fibrosis), and people with diabetes.

Treatment options

Choices for treating night blindness vary as many factors can create the problem. Treatment focuses on managing the underlying causes to reduce issues with poor vision in darker settings. These options include:

Corrective eyewear

Typically myopia is treated with corrective glasses or contact lenses. Wearing tinted yellow shades at night can help increase the contrast of objects during that time.

Medications

Certain drugs can be used to manage vitamin A deficiencies and glaucoma, such as pilocarpine (in eye drop form), and vitamin supplements.

Surgery

There are surgical options for cataracts and glaucoma, and LASIK surgeries are available to help with nearsightedness. These treatments can improve overall vision as well as make night vision easier.

Retinitis pigmentosa doesn’t have treatment to improve the condition, but some devices and therapies can make life easier.

Night vision is something that can make driving a nightmare, but you don’t have to live with it because we can help. Make an appointment with the team at Bronx Eye Associates today to get better vision at night.

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