Night Blindness: Symptoms, Causes and Preventive Measures  


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health

Eye Health

5 min read


Mentioned even in old Egyptian texts, night blindness is a condition that has concerned human beings since centuries. Watch out for night blindness symptoms and get your Vitamin A deficiency checked!

Key Takeaways

  • With night blindness, the quality of your low-light vision decreases
  • Night blindness is not a disease, but a sign of other health conditions
  • Only certain types of night blindness can be treated by doctors

Night blindness is perhaps the first-ever nutrient-deficiency condition to be distinctly identified by ancient Egypt texts from 1500 BCE [1]! It is a condition where an individual experiences a rapid decrease in the quality of vision at night. One may also experience night blindness symptoms in dimly lit places. If you suffer from night blindness or nyctalopia, you may find it difficult to travel at night, be it while walking or by driving.

Experts don’t call it a night blindness disease since it is not a disease by itself but rather a sign of other health conditions you may have. As a result, you can treat only a few types of night blindness depending on their sources, while the others are not treatable.

In South India, maternal night blindness is a prevalent condition. This is majorly a concern among women pregnant with twins or those with five or more pregnancies that cover 20 or more weeks of gestation [2]. Read on to know the symptoms, causes, treatment options, and preventive measures for this condition.

Night blindness Symptoms 

The only major symptom of night blindness is trouble seeing in the dark. If you go to a dimly lit area from a well-illuminated environment, you may find it difficult to see, and that also indicates this condition.

Night Blindness

Night Blindness Causes  

When it comes to night blindness, deficiency of vitamin A, cataracts, usher syndrome, nearsightedness, and retinitis pigmentosa are its prime causes. In case you have pancreatic insufficiency, and you find it difficult to metabolize fats, you are at a higher risk of vitamin A deficiency, which can lead to blindness. Apart from that, having high sugar also makes you vulnerable to eye diseases like cataracts, which can further cause this condition.

Additional Read: Cataract Surgery Health Insurance

Night Blindness Treatment Options 

To get started with night blindness treatment, doctors will identify the source of the condition first. To do that, they may test the amount of vitamin A and glucose in your blood, as well as look for cataract and nearsightedness symptoms. To address nearsightedness, you may have to wear corrective lenses. In case a cataract is detected, doctors can remove it surgically.

If your blood test shows a vitamin A deficiency, doctors may prescribe supplements that you need to take as directed. In case of high glucose levels, you may be asked to lead a more active life and limit your glucose intake. This helps bring these levels down. Remember that genetic conditions like retinitis pigmentosa are not treatable. In this, you or your loved ones suffer from these rare eye conditions; neither wearing corrective lenses nor getting surgery helps. If you have this condition, it is better not to drive at night.

Night Blindness person should take these precautions

Night Blindness Preventive Measures  

As prevention is better than cure, it is also wise to keep night blindness at bay with the right health choices when it comes to your diet and lifestyle. Though you can’t help it if the condition is due to a birth defect or genetic properties, a balanced diet and lifestyle can boost your other health parameters, so that blindness doesn’t become a cause of concern.

Following preventive measures:

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin A 
  • Spinach 
  • Fortified low-fat spreads 
  • Pumpkins 
  • Cheese 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Mangoes 
  • Oily fish 
  • Eggs 
  • Butternut squash 
  • Milk 
  • Carrots 
  • Yogurt 
  • Cantaloupes 
  • Collard greens 
  • Go for half-yearly or yearly eye check-ups. 
how to recognize Night Blindness

It helps your doctor to detect an eye condition at the earliest.

Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses While Going Out 

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase your risk of getting cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, while all are potential causes of night blindness. To prevent that, you can wear sunglasses that guard your eyes efficiently by blocking 99% or more of UV rays and filtering more than 75% of the visible blue light.

Additional Read: Early Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes 

Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses

With this crucial knowledge about night blindness as well as its symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention, you can watch out for this condition in a more informed manner. If you have blindness, limit yourself to driving during the day and take help from others for traveling at night.

For the best advice on night blindness, you can get a consultation online from a doctor via the Bajaj Finserv Health website or app. This allows you to address your eye issues comfortably from home. You can also ask the doctor about related conditions like eyestrain and red eyes, which are usually treatable from home too. Choose from 8,400+ doctors across specialties, consult remotely via chat, audio, or video, and get your concerns resolved in no time.

To protect your health better, you can also opt for the Aarogya Care Complete Health Solution plan available on the same platform. With this medical insurance plan, you can enjoy a comprehensive healthcare cover of up to Rs.10 lakh for two adults and four children. You can also enjoy high network discounts, free preventive health check-ups, COVID-19 treatment cover, lab tests, doctor consultation reimbursements, and more at no additional fee. To enjoy all these benefits, check out the plan now and sign up in 3 easy steps! 

Published on 6 Jul 2022Last updated on 23 Dec 2022

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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