Why Does My Vision Get Worse at Night Image

Why Does My Vision Get Worse at Night?

It’s a well-known fact that humans are not built with night vision. Unlike nocturnal animals, whose eyes easily adjust to the darkness at night, humans just don’t have that ability. However, healthy human eyes should still be able to somewhat function at night. If you need a nightlight to find your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack, or have difficulty seeing while driving in the evening, you may be suffering from a condition known as night blindness.

People with night blindness see poorly in darkness or dim light but normally when adequate amounts of light are present. The condition is not the nighttime equivalent of true blindness; nonetheless, those who have it know how limiting its effects can be.

Why Is My Vision Worse at Night?

Why Does My Vision Get Worse at Night ImageIt is estimated that most individuals take about 20 minutes to adequately adjust their eyes to see in the dark. This time allows your eyes to adjust from the brightness of daylight or indoor lights to the darkness outside. As the light dims, your pupils dilate (grow larger) to take in more light.

However, a dilated pupil reduces your ability to change your focus between near and far objects, so that, for instance, while driving you may be “blinded” by streetlights and oncoming headlights. Just as it takes a while for your eyes to adjust when you enter a dark room, it also takes time for your eyes to adjust when a headlight appears. If you focus on the headlights, your pupils will constrict to block out the light.

This is why oncoming traffic can be such an annoyance when you are driving at night. Once the headlights have passed, your eyes will need time to readjust to the dark, making it difficult to see the road. In heavy traffic, your pupils may never adjust, as your gaze must constantly alternate between light and dark. Many people try to avoid this by attempting to look slightly away from oncoming headlights. This may help for a short time, but in the end, you may have to limit driving at night to prevent an accident, especially if you have night blindness.

Eye of the Tiger

So why are some animals so good at seeing at night? Human beings are not like tigers, or house cats for that matter, whose eyes are superbly well adapted to seeing in the dark. One reason is that cats have more rods than cones in their retinas, unlike humans. This makes kitty night and motion vision superior. (Rods are the receptors that the eye uses for nighttime viewing and sudden movement. Cones are used during the daytime and process color information.)

Additionally, our day-to-day human lives may be making our night vision worse. Focusing up close is not natural to your eyes. The human eye was not developed to spend all day focusing on computers, books, television, etc., and so this causes near-point stress. It also contributes to more long-term issues like Digital Eye Strain. This can contribute to the weakening of your vision.

Similarly, human vision is naturally poorer at night, when our hunter-gatherer ancestors were, presumably, sleeping (and perhaps guarding against tiger attacks). This is why the military developed night-vision goggles and scopes for soldiers. That said, if you are having greater difficulty seeing in the dark than your friends or family, you are most likely experiencing night blindness.

Causes of Night Blindness

One of the most common causes of night blindness is ocular deterioration due to age. In the natural aging process, the eye lens becomes less clear and grows cloudy over time, making it difficult to see in dim light.

Another general cause is uncorrected myopia, or nearsightedness. Even with vision correction, nearsighted people may find their nearsightedness is exacerbated when their pupils dilate at night.

In some cases, night blindness is a symptom of a serious underlying condition, such as retinitis pigmentosa, which is inherited. This degenerative retinal disorder causes the retina’s rod cells to deteriorate and eventually stop functioning. Night blindness is often the first symptom of a cataract as well. Early cataract development increases glare and decreases the amount of light reaching the back of the eye.

A Feast for the Eyes

A vitamin A deficiency may also cause night blindness. Professionals often recommend supplements for those with poor night vision, along with a diet emphasizing vitamin A-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, spinach, and cantaloupe.

Bilberry may also improve night vision. A close relative of the blueberry, bilberry is high in a certain type of bioflavonoid. It speeds the regeneration of rhodopsin, the purple pigment used by the eyes’ rods. British air force pilots in World War II ate bilberry jam to improve their night vision during evening sorties.

Night Blindness Tips

If you think you’re suffering from night blindness, you’re not alone. Here are some tips to make it easier to see at night.

  1. If you are still wearing your glasses, choose glasses with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.
  2. Keep glasses – including sunglasses – clean. Having dirt on the inside or outside of your lenses can disturb the filtering of light and scatter it. This will make it more difficult to see and increase an already existing vision problem.
  3. Keep your car windshield and car windows clean, both inside and out. Having dirt and debris on your windshield makes it harder to see, especially at night.
  4. While driving at night, avoid looking at oncoming car lights head-on; instead, try to look to the side of the lights in order to minimize glare. If your night vision is really poor, you may want to avoid driving at night altogether.

Don’t take chances with your life or the lives of those you love by continuing to drive if your night vision is getting worse. Testing your night vision, especially for driving purposes, is of the utmost importance.

While changes in diet may help some people suffering from night blindness, it is always best to talk to a medical professional before adding a vitamin or supplement to your daily routine. If your night blindness has developed as you age, eye vitamins may help to restore some of the flexibility to your vision. In either case, you should speak with your eye doctor or medical professional first.

Our Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula Contains All 17 Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbal Supplements to Improve Your Eye Health!

All Natural
Eye Vitamins

Ocu-Plus Formula | Eye VitaminsOrder NowLearn More

All Natural
Daily Multivitamin

Ocu-Plus Complete MultivitaminOrder NowLearn More

Free Eye Exercises

Free Eye ExercisesLearn More

Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Dave Howell says:

    Dusk colours last with me for most of the evening sometimes

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Melissa says:

    weird thing that happens and not only at dusk time , but a few other times it happens more at dusk time…all of sudden eye sight narrows and fades to like dusk colors ..stays that way for about 30 min tops

  3. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Rebecca says:

    Hey Tyler I’m 19 I have night blindness problem I haven’t consulted to a doctor I can see totally at night what is the first step I need to take to at least see at night please help

  4. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen joey says:

    will help eat healthy fight Usher Syndrome hope help and eye exercises and natural vision question sure make let know thank hope pray god bless.

  5. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen joey says:

    I am have Usher Syndrome how fight eat healthy you can talk about question let know.

  6. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Roger Groot says:

    You mentioned Vitamin A as being very helpful with better night vision,and I can agree as I have been juicing carrots for 14 years,and my night time vison for driving is excellent at age 74.

  7. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Lisa Flexhaug says:

    Hi Tyler,
    I have -10 in both eyes and have had retinal detachments in both of my eyes. As I am only 39 years old I am very concerned about my future vision. Are you aware of any prevention options to avoid future retinal detachments in someone who has had them already – I find when I do high impact exercise or anything where I have my head down for a long time (vacuuming, washing floors or gardening) that I get some light flickers in my eyes for a while after but they do go away. Appreciate any information or guidance you have. Thank you.

    • Hi Lisa,

      As far as avoiding future retinal damage, I would highly recommend talking with your eye doctor as he will know your specific case very well.

      To your vision — for life,

  8. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Nida Calion says:

    Hello sir Tyler,
    Can I buy this Ocu-plus Formula from any pharmacy? I’m working here at the United Arab Emirates.thanks a lot for sharing your experiences to us who are having eye problems.also,is it possible to shift it here considering the far distance.i would like to try it first then to teach my 15 year old daughter whose eye glasses has reached more than
    500 already and i want to help her.thanks

    • Hi Nida,

      All of our supplements are only offered exclusively through our website. We don’t sell them in pharmacies as we don’t want to involve a distributor. Involving a distributor would only add costs to our vitamins and we do everything possible to save you money.

      As far as shipping goes, we ship all over the world and ship to the United Arab Emirates on a daily basis.

      To your vision — for life,

  9. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Felix says:

    Hi I was wondering if the bilberry is for sale from anyway? Because I really have bad night vision. 🙁 I am very scared of what going to happen in my future. 🙁

  10. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Trevor Ribeiro says:

    Dear Sir,

    Really appreciate all messages you have been sending to me regarding vision improvement. but the problem is that I am have is Usher Syndrome and to my knowledge, till date is that there is no cure. but hope… just waitng for that hope to realised as soon as possible. It been almost 28 year now i have having this problem…

    As i am from India… working in Bahrain trying to give my family the best as much as possible… praying to god every day that the hope come true..



  11. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Lucia Oliver says:

    I believe in a God who heals through Jesus Christ. I have seen many healings-including my eyesight restored supernaturally. Stay hopeful. I pray your eyesight will be restored in the name of Jesus. Place your hands on your eyes and declare healing in the name of Jesus. Usher Syndrome has to go. By Jesus’ stripes you are healed. Your and your family will be blessed. Jesus loves you soooo much! Blessings

  12. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Maria says:

    Hi u can buy bilberry tablets from chemist warehouses or eat lots of fresh blue berries

Leave Your Reply

About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


Popular Posts