Vision and Night Driving

Posted by CooperVision on Wednesday, November 14, 2012

As the days get shorter during these winter months, eye care patients will have to drive in the dark earlier. Driving at night can be a challenge because the human eye’s field of vision is much smaller without the help of natural light. There are also patients such as older patients, patients with dry eye, and patients who have higher order aberrations (optical imperfections that can’t be corrected with contact lenses or glasses) that may have a more challenging time driving when it is dark out. Here are a few important things that patients should know about their vision and night driving:

  • Make Sure Your Prescription Is Up to Date: One way motorists can overcome visual challenges while driving at night safely is making sure their prescription is current. Getting regular eye exams is one way to ensure that. An eye doctor can also check and let patients know if fading night vision could be a problem.
  • Older Patients Should Get Tested More Often: Older patients may struggle to focus on the road at night, where lighting is poor and more complex visual tasks are required. There are also eye conditions that can cause vision loss as patients age. These conditions include: cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. By getting regular eye exams, older patients can check with their eye doctor about the risks of driving at night.
  • Be Prepared: Before patients go for a drive, it can help to check and see if the windshield and mirrors are clear of any debris.
  • Talk To Your Eye Doctor: If a patient notices that his or her vision seems to be worse at night, talking to your eye doctor can help. An eye doctor can recommend tips and steps that a patient can take in order to stay safe on the road at night.

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