The Need to Improve Night Vision

We have to learn how to improve our night vision as we age. William Shakespeare once described old age in these terms: "sans teeth, sans eyes, sans everything." Indeed, our ability to adapt to dark deteriorates as we grow older. The rate of deterioration is around 10 percent per decade.

Doesn’t it sound familiar for you hear some older people saying that their night vision was not as good as it had been in their youth? Difficulty in seeing at night does have a cause other than aging – it is the lack of proper nutrients for the eyes. In other words, declining night vision is a problem that you have the power to help resolve.

How to Improve Night Vision?

Bilberry, a bioAavonoid found in members of the grape family (including English blueberries), has a well-known positive effect on night vision; it helps the eye accommodate to changing light conditions more efficiently. Bilberry contains compounds that:

  • provide purple pigment to your retina (the rods) for night vision;
  • improve circulation in the blood vessels of the eye; and
  • work with vitamin C to strengthen collagen in the eye.
  • Bilberry also prevents inAammation in the eye and has been found to have virtually no toxicity.

    Bilberry can be obtained by eating purple grapes, cranberries, or blueberries.

    The purple pigments in bilberry-related species, the anthocyanosides, help strengthen the purple area of vision that controls adaptation from light to dark and the eyes' response to glare. Bilberry is widely available in supplement form, and is contained in many of the vision-supportive multivitamins. Non-diabetics can eat fresh or frozen blueberries or take the supplement. Diabetics, to avoid the extra sugar, should take the supplement instead of eating the berries. Vitamin A can also help improve night vision. Vitamin A is found in spinach and other dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, and cantaloupes. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is found in similar foods. You can take vitamin A or beta-carotene as a supplement.

    The Chinese have long known that, to heal the upper parts of the body (like the eyes), the upper part of the plant (like the fruit) should be used. Foods that are yellow (containing the carotene lutein) and orange (containing beta-carotene) help improve your day vision; the blue and purple foods (e.g. bilberry and red wine) are good for your night vision.

    Having an antireAective coating put on your glasses can help reduce glare at night and sharpen your night vision. Any optometrist's office or optical shop should be able to add an antireAective coating to your glasses for a modest charge.