POV: It’s nighttime, you’re cruising home on the highway under the stars and the world seems perfect – until suddenly, your eyesight checks you back into reality. If you’ve experienced difficulty driving in the dark, you may be suffering from night blindness, or nyctalopia.
What Causes Nyctalopia?
A frequent cause of night blindness is ageing.
Age-Related Untreatable Biological Changes
Research shows that 80-year-old eyes receive significantly less light than 20-year-old eyes. Older drivers may experience this as though they’re driving with sunglasses on at night.
Age-Related Treatable Conditions
Glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration are all contributing factors to night blindness – even in their earliest stages. These conditions are treatable, but fast-action is important. Even if you feel your eyes are fine, it’s essential to schedule regular check-ups to ensure your doctor can identify minor issues before they become major issues.
What if I Have High-Scoring Vision?
While eye exams may reflect high scores for visual acuity, the tests don’t account for night driving conditions. Poor lighting and more complex visual tasks are a far cry from a well-light eye exam.
I’m Not “Ageing” but I Think I Have Night Blindness
If you’re experiencing night blindness but aren’t at an age at which people are typically affected, you could be affected by a few other factors, including eye conditions, chronic eye diseases, and dietary imbalances. As always, if you’re experiencing any irregularities with your eyesight, contact your doctor for a check-up.