LAGOS – A Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Dr Adekunle Rotimi-Samuel, said on Tuesday people suffer from night blindness as a result of deficiency in vitamin A.
Rotimi-Samuel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that victims of nyctalopia, also known as night blindness, had difficulty in identifying or recognising objects in relatively low light.
“Night blindness is a situation whereby somebody can’t see very well in the night, especially in the dark.
“This happens especially in kids who have very low reserves of vitamin A and especially when they come down with infections and all sorts of things when they are not eating well.
“Vitamin A is an important component of the visual process; when somebody doesn’t have enough of it, it becomes a problem.
“For vitamin A deficiency you can give the child vitamin A for treatments or ask him to eat vitamin A rich foods.”
Rotimi-Samuel told NAN that night blindness could also be caused by birth defects, cataracts, near sightedness, allergy and a hereditary condition known as retinitis pigmentosa.
He said that night blindness caused by a deficiency could be corrected with intake of fish oils, liver and dairy products rich in vitamin A, but that retinitis pigmentosa had no remedy.
“Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disorder; somebody is just not able to see very well in the night.
“Unfortunately, as it progresses it also affects daylight vision and for that one there is really no cure yet, it’s an in-born thing.
“Other problems that may be associated with it can be taken care of because sometimes they have cataracts; we take care of the cataract.
“Sometimes, they have glaucoma, we take care of the glaucoma; sometimes they have refractive errors, we give them glasses.
“Some of them actually stabilise; it becomes stationary; it’s not getting worse it’s not getting better; but no real way has been proved to slow it down.”
Rotimi-Samuel urged parents who noticed that their wards were bumping into objects in low light to have their eyes checked. (NAN)