Expert Advice

Can I improve my night vision?

These 4 supplements can help you see better after the sun sets.

Can I improve my night vision?
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Supplements can help poor night vision but first get a complete eye exam. You might have a slight astigmatism, which makes it harder for your eyes to adapt to darkness. If that’s the case, glasses can often help correct the problem. Otherwise, try these options:

Vitamin A. If you’re deficient in vitamin A, your body may be producing less rhodopsin, the visual pigment used in low-light levels. You can get it from foods such as carrots, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, collard greens, and cantaloupes. Or take daily supplements of 5,000 IU for 30 to 90 days and then re-evaluate your night vision. When you see improvement, begin to reduce the dosage.

Beta-carotene. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. The recommended daily dosage is 10,000 to 25,000 IU. If you have a thyroid problem, do not take beta-carotene since your body may not be able to convert it.

Bilberry and grape seed extract. According to popular theory (research is mixed), bilberry, also known as European blueberry, increases rhodopsin and helps night vision. Take 120 mg a day and re-evaluate after 30 to 90 days. Studies have also shown that taking 200 mg daily of grape seed extract—which has high amounts of OPC, a potent antioxidant 20 times stronger than vitamin C—can be effective.—Marc Grossman, O.D., L.Ac., medical director of Natural Eye Care in New Paltz, N.Y.