Dr. Michelle Calder-Cardwell is the owner and lead optometrist at
Urban Optiques Vision & Eyewear in Northville, MI.
Q. My vision is fine during the day, but headlights blind me when I drive at night. What can I do to improve my night vision?
A. What you're describing is probably night blindness, or nyctalopia—sensitivity to light and difficulty seeing at night or in dimly lit areas. Night blindness is typically caused by a problem with the retina; the part of your eye that enables you to see in low light.
Cataracts, nearsightedness, side effects from medications, laser refractive surgery, corneal diseases and injuries, and Vitamin A deficiency can create night blindness. These can usually be successfully treated, but if eye disease or genetics are the cause, night blindness may be more difficult to treat, or in some cases untreatable.
To determine what's causing your night blindness, you should start with a comprehensive eye exam by your VSP doctor. During the exam your doctor will check for a variety of health conditions and look for the cause of your night blindness. In some cases, night blindness can be managed with special lenses in eyeglasses like those treated with an anti-reflective coating, or lenses that have been designed and tinted to reduce glare and nighttime blindness.