Night blindness
Impaired vision in dim light and in the dark, due to impaired function of specific vision cells (namely, the rods) in the retina. The ability of our eyes to quickly view objects as they shift from light to dark areas and the ability to see in dim light or at night is an important part of our visual health. When we are not able to do such, the condition is referred to commonly as night blindness or medically as nyctalopia. It occurs as a result of various diseases that cause degeneration of the rods of the retina (the sensory cells responsible for vision in dim light). The problem can also appear as an inherited deficiency in visual purple, or rhodopsin, which is the pigment of the rods of the retina. The abnormality can also result from vitamin A deficiency. Rhodopsin,  maintains its photosensitivity only in the presence of vitamin A. Night blindness is a classic finding from deficiency of vitamin A. It was described by the English physician William Heberden (1710-1801) who also discovered other medical disorders of importance including angina pectoris (chest pain that is often severe and crushing, due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle) and osteoarthritis of the small joints with nodules (Heberden’s nodes) in and about the last joint of the finger. Sources of vitamin A include animal livers, milk, and yellow and green leafy vegetables which contain carotenes, chemically related substances that are converted to vitamin A in the body. Night blindness is also called day sight, nocturnal amblyopia, nyctalopia and nyctanopia.

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night blindness n reduced visual capacity in faint light (as at night) called also nyctalopia
night-blind 'nīt-.blīnd adj

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the inability to see in dim light or at night. It is due to a disorder of the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light (see rod), and can result from dietary deficiency of vitamin A. If the vitamin deficiency is allowed to continue, its manifestations may progress to include xerophthalmia and keratomalacia. Night blindness may be caused by other retinal diseases, e.g. retinitis pigmentosa. Congenital stationary night blindness is characterized by poor night vision from early childhood that does not get worse. Medical name: nyctalopia. Compare day blindness.

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nyctalopia.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Night blindness — Night Night (n[imac]t), n. [OE. night, niht, AS. neaht, niht; akin to D. nacht, OS. & OHG. naht, G. nacht, Icel. n[=o]tt, Sw. natt, Dan. nat, Goth. nahts, Lith. naktis, Russ. noche, W. nos, Ir. nochd, L. nox, noctis, Gr. ny x, nykto s, Skr. nakta …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • night-blindness — nightˈ blindness noun Inability to see in a dim light, nyctalopia • • • Main Entry: ↑night …   Useful english dictionary

  • night blindness — n. imperfect vision in the dark or in dim light: a symptom of vitamin A deficiency …   English World dictionary

  • night blindness — nightblind, adj. Ophthalm. a condition of the eyes in which vision is normal in daylight but abnormally poor at night or in a dim light; nyctalopia. [1745 55] * * * ▪ physiology also called  nyctalopia         failure of the eye to adapt promptly …   Universalium

  • night blindness — the inability to see in dim light or at night. It is due to a disorder of the cells in the retina that are responsible for vision in dim light (see rod), and can result from dietary deficiency of vitamin A. If the vitamin deficiency is allowed to …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • night blindness — night′ blind ness n. oph a condition in which vision is normal in daylight but abnormally poor in dim light • Etymology: 1745–55 night′blind , adj …   From formal English to slang

  • night blindness — noun The optic condition nyctalopia, the inability to see clearly in faint light, as at night Syn: moon blindness …   Wiktionary

  • night blindness — Synonyms and related words: Lombardy leprosy, anemia, ariboflavinosis, beriberi, cachexia, chlorosis, day blindness, deficiency anemia, dermatitis, goiter, greensickness, hemeralopia, keratomalacia, kwashiorkor, maidism, malnutrition, moon… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • night blindness — noun inability to see clearly in dim light; due to a deficiency of vitamin A or to a retinal disorder • Syn: ↑nyctalopia, ↑moon blindness • Hypernyms: ↑visual impairment, ↑visual defect, ↑vision defect, ↑visual disorder, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • night blindness — noun Date: 1754 reduced visual capacity in faint light (as at night) • night blind adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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