Night blindness: A normal part of aging?

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Night blindness: A normal part of aging?


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?



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
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