How do I Improve Night Vision?

Vanessa Harvey

You can improve night vision by keeping your eyes adjusted to the dark as much as possible when going from a lighted area to one that is dark. Avoid directly looking at sources of light while moving around at night or in darkness, because this hinders the ability of the eyes to adjust, creating poor night vision. Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke weakens the eyes in general, which defeats efforts to improve night vision. It is advisable to avoid even thirdhand smoke, to which a person is exposed when doing things such as handling the clothes of a smoker. Consuming foods very rich in vitamin A, antioxidants and lutein is one of the most effective ways you can improve night vision naturally.

Many people believe that taking synthetic vitamin A supplements will improve night vision.
Many people believe that taking synthetic vitamin A supplements will improve night vision.

Learning to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark requires some concentrated effort. If you have to move from a lighted area to a dark one, or if the lights are suddenly dimmed or turned off, you can help your eyes to adjust. Simply close them, keep them closed for a few seconds, then begin to open them very slowly so that they are not "shocked" and strained. When you cannot close them, you can try squinting instead, so that any transition from a well-lit area to a dark one is not too sudden.

Driving at night can be difficult if you don't have good night vision.
Driving at night can be difficult if you don't have good night vision.

It is generally believed that you can help improve night vision by scanning your environment in the dark rather than focusing on any one source of light; again, this requires a little practice because the normal reaction is to focus on light sources. Although smoking is not generally associated with poor eyesight, smoke is a proven eye irritant and an interference with any effort to improve night vision, because the toxic chemicals in first and secondhand smoke are known carcinogens. All carcinogens have a deteriorating effect upon the organs and tissues of the body, including the eyes.

Eating foods that are rich in beta-carotene, lutein and antioxidants, such as carrots and green leafy vegetables, has been medically proved to be effective as a time-tested natural method used to improve night vision. Many people believe that taking synthetic vitamin A supplements will produce results. There are ways you can ensure that you ingest adequate amounts of nutrients needed to improve night vision, such as drinking at least 4 ounces (118 ml) of fresh carrot juice daily. Many grocery stores also sell eggs that are high in lutein.

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Discussion Comments


@pleonasm - At least people these days can augment their vision whether they want to look at stars or just be able to walk around at night without bumping into things. You can get fairly cheap night vision goggles now.

Apparently back in the day the reason pirates always wore eye patches was so that they could transition from the hold of the ship into daylight and back again without losing their vision in one eye.

It's a pretty clever trick, but I can never remember to cover one of my eyes when I need to turn on a light.


@MrsPramm - Huh, I always thought that the reason I had such good night vision was because I loved carrots when I was a kid. I have to wear glasses, but even wearing them I can still usually pick out more stars than my friends.

A good way to test this is to look at the Pleiades constellation, which is also known as the Seven Sisters and see if you can see all seven stars. Most people can only see four or five of them I believe, but I can see them all.

The downside is that I really don't like bright light during the day and I end up squinting a lot. I suspect that I have more sensitive pupils than the average person because they would pick up more light from whatever source, whether it is our sun or the distant stars.


Apparently the old saying that eating carrots would improve your night vision and just work better in general was originally war-time propaganda. It was made up to scare the other side into thinking that Britain was preparing their citizens to be able to catch soldiers in the night.

But mothers still tell their children to eat carrots to improve their eyes even though there isn't really that much they can do.

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