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Are You Having Difficulties with Night Vision?

Are you starting to notice difficulties seeing street signs at night whilst driving or on a cloudy day? Are you struggling to read menus at a restaurant? If you have never had an eye test, make an appointment with your optometrist to find out what is causing these vision problems and whether or not further treatment is required.

Understanding Night Vision

Your vision at night is different to the daytime. It is typical and quite common to have not as “sharp” or “clear” vision at night compared to during the day. You may notice this when driving at night; you need to pay more attention to the road than during the day. Different light levels create different contrasts, thereby affecting how you see things day and night. A tree, for example, on the side of the road is easily recognisable during the day because the greenness of the leaves is quite distinct in colour from the tar of the road. This is more recognisable than nighttime, where both the road and the trees can appear and different shades of “grey.” Our colour vision senses aren’t as effective at night or in an environment with low lighting. But what can make your vision even more challenging at night time?

Vision Problems That May Have An Impact On Your Night Vision

Fortunately, most of the issues affecting your night vision are treatable and manageable. Here are a few issues with your eye health and vision that may impact your night vision.

  1. Incorrect Glasses Prescription. It is obvious, but it isn’t immediately apparent if you wear glasses every day. You may overlook the impact of the minor changes to your vision during the day and only occasionally notice the night vision problems you have at night whilst driving and compare it to your passengers (for example). Your glasses may also be scratched, and the lenses age so that light has difficulty penetrating, affecting your night vision.
  2. Cataracts. The development of cataracts may impact your night vision depending on its type. Cataracts are generally slow-progressing, causing the cloudiness of your natural lens. This is the same as having dirty glasses or looking through a dirty windscreen at night. Making an appointment with your optometrist will determine how your cataracts are affecting your night vision.
  3. Dry Eyes. Dry and irritated eyes can make your vision fluctuate and sometimes can be disabling. Patients with severe dry eyes are like keeping your eyes open whilst cutting open an onion. This amount of irritation disrupts the tear film on your eye, responsible for maintaining adequate lubrication. When the quality of your natural tear film is affected, it is like looking through Vaseline smudged on your windscreen. Dry eyes can happen at night time when you’ve spent a lot of time in front of your computer at work during the day.

The Bottom Line

If you have noticed difficulties seeing under low light conditions such as during dusk, dawn, rainy and cloudy environments, making an appointment with your optometrist is the first time finding out the cause. Fortunately, the most common causes of night vision issues are easily manageable, which would be identified during your appointment with your optometrist. Getting the problem sorted early means you understand your eyes and address any further issues should they pop up.

At Capital Eye in Canberra, your optometrist will take the time to understand your vision concerns and provide you with the best and tailored advice.