Night Blindness and Xerophthalmia: It’s Causes and Treatment.

Night Blindness is a certain type of vision impairment also known as “Nyctaiopia”. People with nyctaiopia develop an inability to see or drive in darkness. The name “Night Blindness” however implies that you are unable to see at night, which is not the case, you simply just can’t see so well in dim lit environments due to poor vision in darkness.


Xerophthalmia is defined as a medical condition in which the eye in unable to make tears, also often called “dryness of the eye”. This is a condition which is found in patients with immune disorders. Xerophthalmia can be caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin A, which is thought to be the most common cause. This condition is described as a “pathological dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea.”


The conjunctiva then becomes wrinkled dry and thick. The only true symptom of night blindness is trouble seeing in the dark and people are more likely to suffer this condition while shifting from a bright room to one that is dark, or while driving experience poor vision; with the first symptom being a deficiency of vitamin A which causes one to be unable to see objects in dim light or in the evening.


The earliest onset of symptoms from xerophthalmia include hot discomfort, corneal xerosis, bitot’s spots and keratomlacia. The most common causes of disease is a lack of vitamin A and or lupus. Certain medications also may cause this disease such as antihistamines, drugs chemical burns and X-linked factors.


Night blindness can only be diagnosed by a battery of tests by an eye doctor. Night blindness can only be properly treated by determining the cause, hence the various test and eye exams. Treating night blindness may be as mild as a new pair of corrective lens or surgery to changing your medication for glaucoma.


Xerophthalmia treatment can be done in one of two ways. Treating the deficiency or treating the symptoms. If the deficiency, vitamin A supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin A. The treatment of the symptom can be done by eye drops or artificial tears.



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