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What You Should Know About Night Blindness

Our Optometrist in Kittery, explains About The Causes of Night Blindness

Our eye doctor can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness so that you can enjoy being out at night again.

Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

  • Vitamin A Deficiency Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.
  • Cataracts
    A buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.
  • Diabetic retinopathy
    Damage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.
  • Glaucoma
    This group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both Glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.
  • Myopia
    Also called nearsightedness, Myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.
  • Keratoconus
    An irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
    A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.
  • Usher Syndrome
    This genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

Symptoms of Nyctalopia

Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
  • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
  • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

Treatments for Night Blindness

Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; Myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Prevention

While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact Kittery Optometric Associates in Kittery to schedule your appointment today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Kittery Optometric Associates, your Kittery eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Frequently asked questions answered by our Eye Doctor in Kittery, Maine:

  • What are the reasons for Cataract Removal?

    Cataracts can interfere with your ability to live normally. They may make it impossible to drive, read, use a computer, watch TV, climb staircases, or identify faces. Cataracts can also get in the way of medical treatment for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy because they prevent your eye doctor from inspecting the back tissues of your eye thoroughly. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.

  • Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Essential?

    At present, one in 10 Americans has diabetes – and the trend is continuing upwards. While routine comprehensive eye exams are important for diagnosing the early signs of diabetes, that doesn’t mean eye exams become insignificant after diagnosis!

  • What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma describes a type of ocular disease that causes damage to your optic nerve and destroys your quality of vision. With no early symptoms, glaucoma can only be detected by a complete eye examination. When left untreated, glaucoma can result in detrimental vision loss. When treated early by one of our professional, knowledgeable eye doctors, we can help preserve your healthy eyesight.

  • What is Myopia?

    Cataracts can interfere with your ability to live normally. They may make it impossible to drive, read, use a computer, watch TV, climb staircases, or identify faces. Cataracts can also get in the way of medical treatment for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy because they prevent your eye doctor from inspecting the back tissues of your eye thoroughly. These are all reasons why your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery.

Focused On Your Eyecare

Comprehensive Family Eyecare in Kittery & Wells, Maine

Our eye care professionals in Wells and Kittery specialize in understanding how the human eye works, as well as diseases and conditions that affect your vision – many of which do not have obvious symptoms. Our eye doctors know how age and risk factors affect vision over time for young and old, and they understand the benefits and features of corrective lenses including eyeglasses and contacts.

The optometrists and ophthalmologists at Kittery Eye take the time to explain the results of your eye exam, describe your options and listen to your eye care needs. To us, maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership.

From our offices in Kittery and Wells, Kittery Optometric Associates and Kittery Ophthalmic Consultants serve patients from the Seacoast Region of Maine and New Hampshire. Schedule an appointment today, and if you have a moment, please give us your feedback about our site and your experiences with our practice.

Our Eye Care Specialties

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The only way to detect glaucoma is to have a comprehensive eye exam which includes dilation, measuring internal eye pressure and a scan of the retina for signs of disease.

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Diabetes and vision go hand in hand. If you have diabetes, you need to know that having this systemic disease puts you at greater risk for developing vision problems.

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Dry eyes result from chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye, which causes irritation, an increased risk of inflammation and eye infections.

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Meet Our Eye Doctors

Meet our eye doctors in Kittery, Maine. We offer a full range of eye health services to clients of all ages – all with personalized attention and a smile. In our eye care clinic, every patient is treated warmly and effectively. Individualized attention is the foundation of our care, to ensure that your eyes remain healthy. We’re dedicated to optimizing your vision!

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Our Designer Frames

Kittery Optometric Associates is a full-service optical center with the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to help our patients in Kittery look and feel their best. We understand how much first impressions matter. After all, your face is the first thing people see when they look at you.

We’ll ensure that you put your best face forward. Enjoy clear vision and feel fantastic!

Insurances We Accept At Kittery Optometric Associates

Because we provide both medical and routine eye care, we accept a number of insurance plans to help cover the cost depending on your individual needs.

If you need help figuring out your coverage, we invite you to call our office for guidance before you come in for your visit. Our staff has extensive experience working with many major insurance companies and will be glad to help you understand what benefits are available for your specific case.

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What causes Dry Eyes?

A person who has dry eye syndrome will often think that their red, dry, itchy eyes are nothing more than something minor, like allergies, and live a long time with the severe discomfort that comes with dry eye syndrome. Some people find that, regardless of what measures are taken, the condition does not change significantly and an eye doctor must be consulted to bring relief.

Fortunately, the doctors at Kittery Eye are very familiar with the the symptoms of dry eye syndrome and how to treat it. We have compiled some points of essential knowledge below, to help our patients recognize the indications of this uncomfortable and painful eye condition in a more timely fashion, so that they can prevent prolonging the pain and discomfort of this extremely uncomfortable.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is characterized by itchy, red, dry feeling eyes that might not get better until professional medical help is obtained. Doctors generally discuss two broad causes for dry eye syndrome. Either:

The eyes don’t make enough tears, and the eye cannot be comfortably hydrated

OR

The eye produces tears which are flawed. They often lack one or more essential parts normally included in tears to allow them to properly coat and hydrate the eye.

The leading defense against either of these forms of dry eye syndrome is a type of specialty eye drops called “artificial tears.” These special eye drops combat the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye syndrome by imitating real tears as closely as possible.

In order to do this in the best way possible, there are many different formulations of artificial tears. Each formulation addresses a different underlying cause of your dry eye. Some help to to address the issues of dry eye syndrome in which tears are lacking in quantity, and others will add one or more building blocks to your tears to help them better perform their intended function.

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and typically progressive condition. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But in most cases, dry eyes can be managed successfully, usually resulting in noticeably greater eye comfort, fewer dry eye symptoms, and sometimes sharper vision as well.

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