Night blindness: A normal part of aging?

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Night blindness: A normal part of aging?

Question

My father has developed night blindness and has given up driving after dark. What causes night blindness? Is there anything that can be done to treat it?

Alissa
Colorado

Answer

If your father has had good vision in the past, he is likely experiencing some age-related changes to his eyes. Cataracts often cause difficulty with night driving because of the glare from oncoming headlights or because of blurring caused by cataracts. Other causes of night blindness include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Retinitis pigmentosa, a group of inherited eye diseases that cause deterioration of the retina
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Side effect of certain medications, such as some drugs used to treat high blood pressure or rheumatoid arthritis

An examination by an eye specialist can help determine the cause of night blindness. Treatment is directed at the underlying cause when possible.

Last Updated: 03/31/2006
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use

 

Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version