Why Can’t I See at Night?

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Ever notice that the same route you take every day suddenly becomes a little bit harder to navigate while driving at night? You’re not alone. It can be hard to see at night.

Why is it so much harder to see at night than during the day?

“Yes, it’s dark at night, but you’re operating under low light conditions which will cause your pupils to dilate,” said Mei Fleming, VSP network eye doctor. “All of a sudden you get an influx of headlights or street lamps which can make it harder to see.”

According to Dr. Fleming, while many of us have difficulty seeing at night, those who have unusual difficulty may be experiencing night blindness (nyctalopia). Contrary to its name, night blindness is not a complete lack of vision at night. Rather, it’s a symptom of an underlying cause such as:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Cataracts
  • Certain medications
  • Hereditary
  • Nutritional deficiencies

So, what should you do if you’re having trouble seeing at night?

To determine what’s causing your night blindness, you should start with a comprehensive eye exam by your VSP network eye doctor. During the exam your eye doctor will check for a variety of health conditions and look for the cause of your night blindness. In some cases, your eye doctor might recommend special eyeglass lenses like those treated with an anti-reflective coating, or lenses that have been designed and tinted to reduce glare and nighttime blindness.

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