Are you planning to infiltrate a secret base with a swarm of ninjas in the middle of the night, or just want to keep your journey home safe on dark roads? You can improve your ability to see in the dark by practicing, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and taking care of your eyes.
Method 1 of 4: Preparing the Eyes for Minimum Light Conditions
Step 1. Use your eye stem cells
Rods take 30 to 45 minutes to adapt to changes in the amount of light around you. Bar cells can only see black and white, otherwise the resolution is poor. However, stem cells are very sensitive in low light conditions.
- Photopigments are chemical liquids that are contained in both rods and cones. This fluid is sensitive to light and converts what you see into a language your brain can understand. Rhodopsin is a photopigment found in stem cells, which is essential for the eye to see in the dark.
- Your ability to adapt in the dark depends on a number of things that you may not have control over, such as age, previous eye injuries or damage, and other eye conditions.
- In order for you to see in the dark, you must understand what it takes to be able to use rods and manipulate the eye to adapt more quickly to sudden changes in light intensity.
Step 2. Put on glasses with red colored lenses
The rods in the eye can't perceive red, so wearing glasses with red lenses for 20-30 minutes before you see in minimum light will train your eyes to focus more on movement.
- By blocking out all other colors in the visible light spectrum except red, these types of glasses will allow the rods in your eyes to see in the dark.
- This is a common trick that aviators use when they don't have enough preparation time to sit in total darkness and adjust their eyes before flying at night.
Step 3. Avoid looking directly at any light source
The light source will force your pupils to contract and reduce your ability to see in the dark.
- The way the pupil works is the same as the aperture part of the camera. The pupil will dilate or shrink, depending on the amount of light entering the eye. The more light, the smaller the pupil. If the light is low, the pupil will open wide so the eye can absorb as much light as possible.
- Staring directly into a light source will take more time to adjust your vision in a dark place.
- If you can't avoid the light source, cover one eye or look away until the light source passes.
Step 4. Improve your ability to see in the dark while driving
Do the necessary things before you get in the car. This is important to help you improve your vision when driving at night.
- As just mentioned, avoid looking directly at the light source. If someone is coming from the opposite direction with the fog lights on, cover one eye. This will prevent you from experiencing "light blindness" in both eyes, making it easier for you to adjust your vision in the dark.
- See the white line on your right, in the direction you are going. This way, you'll maintain a safe trajectory, still be able to see movement around you with peripheral vision, and still be able to avoid headlights from other directions.
- Dim your own lights to a safe low level. This is important so that your vision is maintained while driving at night. Also use the “night” setting on your mirror. This helps reduce glare from the headlights of vehicles behind you.
- Clean headlights, wipers and windshields regularly. The dots on obstructions can be a source of sparkle when you are driving at night.
- Maintain the car regularly. Make sure you also adjust the headlight and fog light settings. Even a small setting change can prevent your headlights from causing vision problems for other drivers.
Step 5. Let your eyes adjust to the dark naturally
The best way to see in the dark is to let your eyes get used to the dark. You can do this by sitting relaxed for 20 to 30 minutes in complete darkness.
- To make your eyes adjust to the dark more quickly, wear an eye mask, or cover your eyes. This will give your eyes a chance to adjust before you enter a dark area.
- Try a pirate-style blindfold. Covering one eye for 20 to 30 minutes will allow you to enter a dark area in an eye that is used to low light levels.
Step 6. Use your peripheral vision
The eye has its own blind spot, and navigating in a dark area can cause problems, especially if you're trying to focus your gaze ahead.
- Try focusing on the edge of whatever object you think is in position, or slightly tilted if you're walking forward in a dark area. This way, your peripheral vision can better detect the motion and shape of an object than if you were trying to see the object directly.
- Peripheral vision activates more rods, which are important for navigating in dark areas, identifying shapes, and detecting motion.
Step 7. Look down to examine the silhouette and look for contrast
Remember, stem cells cannot see color or detail, so this is important because they are your guide in the dark.
- The sky at night provides a source of light. By lowering your gaze as much as you can, light from the sky or window will provide enough contrast to help the rods in the eye work more easily.
- In some forms of martial arts training, students are usually instructed to move as low as possible, using the sky to illuminate objects and opponents, through the creation of silhouettes.
- Although the rods in the eye are much more sensitive to light than the cones, they can only distinguish between black and white, and provide low-quality images created by contrasting light sources behind various objects.
Step 8. Give your eyes a light massage
Close your eyes tightly and massage lightly with your palms.
- After 5 to 10 seconds, you will no longer "see" black, but you will see white behind your eyes for a few seconds. It's like resetting your eyes, and when the white gradually returns to black, open your eyes, and you'll see better in the dark.
- Special forces members also use a similar method, which is to close their eyes tightly for 5 to 10 seconds after they are in a dark area. Science has not proven the effectiveness of this method, but it may be useful for some people.
Step 9. Use all your senses to "see"
Make sure you move safely if you try to move before your eyes get used to the darkness.
Keep both feet on the ground/floor, extend your arms, and move slowly. Listen for changes in sound that may indicate a door, hallway, or window. Make sure you move your arms and hands so you don't hit a tree or an open doorway
Step 10. Consider learning to see through the use of sound
There are studies showing that blind people can do this. They developed the skill to create a clicking sound with their tongue, which is known as “flash sonar”. This sonar is similar to the sonar used by bats.
- Using flash sonar, you will be able to detect the location of the object in front of you, as well as other objects around it, in an extraordinary way. For example, a person demonstrates this method by clicking his tongue, to "scan" the empty space in front of him, until he can find the location of the pot that is being held by another person. With a few extra clicks, he was even able to identify the type and surface of the pot lid.
- Another person considered an expert using the flash sonar method was able to ride a mountain bike in hazardous areas, and navigate an obstacle course without incident using this method.
- Flash sonar experts argue that this skill can be developed by everyone.
Method 2 of 4: Protecting and Strengthening Eyesight
Step 1. Wear dark glasses during the day
Exposure to bright light and ultraviolet radiation for several hours can reduce your eye's ability to adapt to the dark.
- Exposure to bright sunlight without sunglasses can reduce your ability to adapt to darkness by 10 minutes, for every 2 to 3 hours of exposure.
- In addition, your ability to see in the dark will also decrease. For example, 10 consecutive days of exposing your eyes to bright sunlight (without wearing eye protection), can reduce your ability to see in the dark by up to 50%.
- Over time, your rods, cones, and photopigments will return to their basic abilities. The time of influence on each person is different.
- Dark glasses with neutral gray lenses, which still transfer 15% of the light, are a recommended choice.
Step 2. Dim your computer screen
If you work at night, it is better to lower the brightness level of your computer screen as low as possible.
- Staring directly at a bright computer screen when your surroundings are very dark will greatly reduce your night vision abilities. This is a quick and easy way to get a better view at night.
- Some of the available software can help adjust the screen brightness level based on the time of day.
Step 3. Allow your eyes to rest regularly
Take regular breaks from focusing on screens, reading something, or focusing on other things for long periods of time.
- Rest your eyes often. For every 20 minutes of hard work, especially when you look at a computer screen, take a break and stare away for 20 seconds. In this way, the eyes can focus again.
- For every two hours of focusing on a computer screen or something else that requires intense gaze, give your eyes 15 minutes of rest.
- Protect your eyes from fatigue by resting for five to ten minutes in the middle of the day. Close your eyes and massage gently. You don't really have to sleep to rest your eyes.
Step 4. Strengthen your peripheral vision
Peripherals are important for improving visibility in dark situations.
- Peripheral vision-that is, what you see in the corners of your eyes-speaks about the movement and use of the stem cells in the eye.
- Improving its ability is an effective way to see better in low light.
- Although most people have to practice it hard, you can learn to do it, so that your ability to see in the dark will improve.
- Exercise the eyes to improve vision, including peripheral vision. This is important so that you are increasingly able to see in the dark.
Step 5. Try a workout
Strengthening peripheral vision is important in many situations, including for athletes.
- The exercise is done using a regular solid colored straw. Draw a black line around the center.
- Ask a friend to help hold the straw horizontally. Then, stand 0.3 to 0.6 meters away from the straw. Have toothpicks in both hands.
- When you see the black line, pay attention to the tip of the straw using your peripheral vision.
- Focus only on the black lines. Try placing a toothpick at both ends of the straw without taking your eyes off the black line.
- Once you can do it easily, try using two straws connected together to make the exercise more difficult.
Step 6. Pay attention to your peripheral vision
One other way to improve this vision is to focus on it and use it in normal light situations.
- Sit quietly anywhere, but try to be outdoors. The outdoor area has a lot to see. Focus on the one thing that is right in front of you.
- Make a mental list of all the things you can see around you, whether moving or not, without taking your eyes off the central object. Relax your eyesight and look around to see if you've missed anything. Make another mental list to find out the distances of other objects from your central object, which you are able to identify.
- Try again in a different area, and see if you can increase the distance from the center object to see other things around you.
Method 3 of 4: Adjusting Your Diet
Step 1. Consume bilberries
Bilberry is a plant that is used to make various types of medicine.
- Research has shown that bilberries may be effective in treating eye problems involving the retina.
- The most promising research supports the use of bilberry in situations involving retinal changes, which are associated with medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Bilberry has been rated as an effective plant for improving night vision. The results of several studies contradict this. Some evidence suggests that bilberry may provide benefits for improving night vision, while some other research does not support this claim.
- A recent assessment argues that bilberry is “possibly ineffective” for improving night vision.
- Bilberry is not easy to find in its raw form, but it is available as an extract or in jams and jellies. Follow the directions on the package to determine how much you should consume each day.
Step 2. Take more vitamin A
One of the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness.
- In the days of Ancient Egypt, it was discovered that night blindness could be cured by eating the liver, which was later found to be rich in vitamin A.
- Low levels of vitamin A can also cause dryness of the cornea, which in turn can lead to blurring of the front of the eye, corneal ulcers and vision loss, as well as retinal damage.
- Carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, chayote, fish, liver, processed cereals, dairy products, kale, blueberries, and apricots are high sources of vitamin A.
- While increasing the consumption of foods rich in vitamin A can be useful, research on this suggests that supplements can provide more vitamin A than the above food sources. In addition, excessive consumption will not strengthen your eyes.
- Vitamin A supplements are available in oral doses, such as tablets or capsules, and are marketed in mcg or units. The average recommended dose for adults is 800-1,000 mcg daily, or 2,600-3,300 units.
- Rhodopsin, which is a protein, is present in the eye and splits into retinal and opsin when exposed to light. Rhodopsin will re-unite when in the dark. A lack of vitamin A can cause blindness in the dark, but too much vitamin A won't help improve your eyes either.
Step 3. Increase consumption of leafy and dark green vegetables
The most beneficial dietary sources for improving your ability to see at night (and actually seeing in general) come from the vegetables you eat.
- Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and green cabbage, are full of nutrients that will protect your eyes by filtering out certain light waves that can damage the retina.
- These foods can also protect the body from degenerative processes, such as age-related macular degeneration.
Step 4. Eat more healthy fats
Eat foods that specifically contain omega 3 fatty acids.
- Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish, especially oily ones such as salmon and tuna, vegetable oils, nuts, especially walnuts, sunflower seeds and their oils, and leafy vegetables.
- Omega 3 fatty acids combat macular degeneration and improve eye health and overall vision. It also combats dry eyes.
- In one study, patients who ate fatty fish once a week were only half as likely to develop neovascular macular degeneration eye disease as those who didn't. In the long term, for 12 years and over, this risk remains lower in those who consume more omega 3.
Step 5. Maintain body hydration
The surface of the eye is 98% water. Dry eyes can be difficult to see at night, and dry eyes are a symptom of overall body dehydration.
- Consuming plenty of water is important to keep your body healthy; however, the link between fluid intake and increased visual acuity is controversial.
- Some ophthalmologists argue that some conditions that cause a lack of hydration in the body can reduce the quality of vision and eye health in general.
- For example, if you are exposed to high temperatures, a dry climate, or intense sunlight. They think these things can make the basal tear layer dry out, making your vision worse.
- Follow dietary guidelines regarding water intake. Try drinking 1.9 liters of water daily (depending on your work situation and environmental factors) to maintain eye health.
Method 4 of 4: Seeking Medical Treatment
Step 1. Visit an ophthalmologist
Caring for vision both during the day and at night involves the services of a doctor/ophthalmologist. Most eye doctors will suggest an annual appointment to make sure your vision hasn't changed significantly.
- If you can't see well in normal light, you won't be able to see well at night either. Make an appointment and talk to your eye doctor about your ability to see at night.
- Make sure all the corrective lenses you have meet your needs. Your vision will naturally change over time, and your lens prescription may need to be renewed.
Step 2. Keep your eyes moisturised
Work with your doctor to make sure you're dealing with dry eye problems.
- Healthy, moisturised, relaxed eyes can see more effectively both during the day and at night, while tired and dry eyes have trouble detecting movement in low-light situations.
- Take care of your eyes by keeping them moist and well rested. Blink regularly, especially if you often focus on the screen, such as a computer, laptop, reader, or TV screen.
- If you have dry eye problems, use over-the-counter eye drops to combat redness and provide moisture, or talk to your eye doctor about using a prescription for dry eye products.
Step 3. Talk to your doctor about any specific challenges
In many routine checkups, your doctor may ask you questions about your vision at night.
- Make sure you describe any problems you may experience when viewing at night. Although many visual changes are associated with decreased body performance with age, some cases may be due to certain medical conditions.
- Examples of diseases and conditions that cause visual changes are cataracts, macular degeneration, astigmatism, glaucoma, presbyopia, and far or nearsightedness.
Step 4. Consider any medical conditions that may be causing changes to your vision
Make an appointment with your doctor to evaluate possible medical causes. Several medical conditions and medications can cause problems with your vision.
Some examples of medical conditions that may cause changes in vision include diabetes, migraine headaches, infections, glaucoma, stroke, sudden changes in blood pressure, or sudden trauma, such as a head injury
Step 5. Consider your medication
In addition to medical conditions, there are many medications that can cause side effects of altered vision.
- Some common examples of drugs that can change vision include muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide, and a drug used for seizures, headaches, and mood swings – topiramate.
- Never adjust treatment based on your own decisions. If you experience vision changes that may be due to medication, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose or choosing an alternative that is just as effective, without changing your vision.