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Night blindness also known as Nyctalopia is not a diagnosis, but rather a symptom of an underlying disorder. People with night blindness (also called impaired dark adaptation) see poorly in the darkness but see normally when adequate amounts of light are present. The condition does not actually involve true blindness, even at night. Recovery is fairly rapid when intake is reduced. Night Blindness is commoner than one can expect it to be.
There are many causes of Night Blindness.
Night blindness can be linked to a variety of conditions caused by impaired liver function, which in turn reduces vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A deficiency is a common cause for night blindness. Some people are just born with it. Many people who are alcoholics or drink a lot may also get Night Blindness because drinking can damage your liver, which makes it easier to pick up an infection of any kind.
Symptoms include difficulty seeing when driving in the evening or at night, poor vision in reduced light.
You may have a feeling that your eyes take longer to “adjust” to seeing in the dark. Initially there is slight difficulty in seeing in dim light later this progresses. The field of vision becomes narrow then later limitations in day vision. If no medication is taken blindness can occur. Toxic symptoms can occur with a large intake of Vitamin A. This is called Hypervitaminosis A, which leads to loss of appetite, a dry, itchy skin often with peeling, intense headaches and an enlarger liver.
Night Blindness starts at an early age, around 15 years and progresses into adulthood. Typical sufferers of Night Blindness are the elderly, teenagers and alcoholics. Many younger kids maybe born with night blindness it may also be an indicator of Retinitis Pigmentosa. Also Night Blindness can also occur if there is a poor intake of Vitamin A. Some people can be born with Night Blindness because it is a genetic disease and runs in families.
Night Blindness can be treated with therapeutic dosages of the vitamin A. Some types of damage to the retina, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa, are usually irreversible. Many treatments like Vitamin A tablets are being given, but their definite effect has not been documented. Taking supplements of Vitamin A in eye drops is also used to treat Night Blindness. Also just eating healthy and eating more Vitamin A products can improve your eyesight at night, but it is not a permanent cure for Night Blindness.
Preventions of Night blindness can be a larger intake of Vitamin A. Eating leafy green vegetables such as spinach that is rich in Vitamin A. It contains more vitamin A than most other green vegetables. This vitamin promotes growth and health, specially the health of the eyes. Lack of this vitamin may lead to night blindness. Spinach is thus an effective food remedy for the prevention and treatment of night blindness. Also eating animal livers, milk, and yellow vegetables can improve the intake of vitamin A in your body. These vegetables, which contain carotene, that is a chemically related substance that is converted to vitamin A in the body.
If you think you might have Night Blindness and are seeing some of the symptoms you should start eating more Vitamin A. Having too much vitamin A can be bad for your body, because Vitamin A is one of the few vitamins in which excess produces definite and severe effects. Recovery is fairly rapid when intake is reduced. There are many varieties of Night Blindness, some begin earlier and progress faster. Night Blindness is serious and is commoner than one can expect it to be!
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Medical Encyclopedia. 20 Feb. 2003
Night Blindness. 20 Feb. 2003
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Upgren, A.R. Night Blindness: Light pollution, the environment, and our experience of nature. The Amicus Journal Winter. 1996. Pp. 22-25
Vitamins. 16 Feb. 2003
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