How Can Night Blindness Be Prevented?

Updated April 17, 2017

Night blindness is the inability of the eye to adapt to dark lighting conditions. People with this condition have normal vision when there is a sufficient amount of light. Dealing with night blindness can be very difficult. Driving during the night becomes a pain. You are unable to attend weekend parties at night and cannot see and enjoy the stars in the clear sky. Night blindness can occur due to a vitamin deficiency and in some cases it could be due to a medical condition. Taking few simple steps could leave your eye healthy and prevent night blindness.

Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin A is essential for visual adaptation and a deficiency of this vitamin results in night blindness. You can take vitamin A supplements that are available over the counter in the drug stores. Doctors often recommend 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin A per day. Do not get confused with the vitamin A and beta carotene supplements. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body. But it is less effective when used to correct the deficiency as it is not well absorbed by the body and the process of the body converting beta carotene to vitamin is very slow. Pregnant women should consult a physician before taking vitamin A supplements because of the link between this vitamin and birth defects.

Zinc helps prevent night blindness in people who are zinc-deficient. Zinc is necessary to transport vitamin A from the liver to the retina. Alpha-Lipoic Acid may restore vitamin C and E levels in the body and it helps with protecting the eye's lens from harmful free radicals. Selenium is an essential mineral which helps build antioxidant enzymes in the body that helps with the overall eye heath. Consult your physician before starting zinc and selenium supplements to avoid overdose.

Herbal Supplements

Poor blood circulation in the eyes results in retina degeneration that leads to night blindness. Bilberry is a herb that belongs to the blueberry family . This shrub grows in Europe and Western Asia. The herb helps with proper blood circulation to the capillaries around the eyes and skin. Their antioxidant properties prevent the eyes from free radical damage. Ginkgo Bilboa also helps with healthier circulation of blood to the eyes.

Coleus Forskohlii is another herb that eases the intraocular pressure in the eye and stimulates better blood flow inside the eyes.

Turmeric is a spice that is packed with antioxidants, Vitamin A, C and E and helps with preventing cataracts. Cataracts can sometimes lead to night blindness.

Proper Diet

A nutritious and balanced diet is very important to maintain healthy eyes. Eating food rich in Vitamin A helps with slowing down retina degeneration. There are a lot of choices when it comes to food rich in vitamin A. Dairy products, egg yolks and liver are an excellent of vitamin A. Fruits like apricots, cantaloupe, cherries, mango, papaya, peaches and watermelon are good choices. If you like to include vegetables rich in this vitamin, you can consider using asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, lettuce, pumpkin, red cabbage and spinach. Fish liver oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that are converted to docosahexaenoic (DHA). DHA lines the photoreceptors cells in the retina and helps to improve the vision.

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About the Author

Priya Hariharan is a technical writer and a Web coordinator at a state agency in New York. She has been writing user manuals for three years and holds a Bachelor of Science in electronics engineering.