My nighttime driving is changing, can I do anything to help?

One of the first signs that there is a vision change is night driving, headaches, and blurred vision. We see a lot of patients who come in due to their inability to see while driving at night. Today, we want to address this and what you can do to protect yourself and others on the road.

How to assess your night driving.

The best way to find if your night vision is compromised is to come in for an eye exam. The brain and vision are a beautiful thing, but they can often hide issues. So there are times your brain adjusts for your vision and you may not notice a decrease in vision.

Go in for an exam annually. We say it all the time, but it is so important to seek annual vision care. Many eye issues are treatable when found in the early stages, before the vision is compromised. For example, glaucoma. This is a disease in which the eye pressure is too high and can damage the vision. That “puff” of air, which can be uncomfortable, is the way we measure eye pressure. By doing this annually, we are able to identify high eye pressure before it creates permanent damage.

See immediate care if you feel you may have a sight-threatening eye disease.

Why is night driving affected as we age?

As eyes age, they tend to change creating a more difficult time seeing at night. For example, pupils shrink. They also do not dilate as quickly. This reduces the amount of light that enters the eye. If you wonder what this may change, it is essentially using a teenage eye with sunglasses on at night time. Pretty difficult to see, right?

The aging of the cornea and lens become less clear. This can create light to skater through the eye which makes glare even more unbearable. In addition, this can create a sensitivity and inability to discern differences in lighting and seeing objects in the roads.

Age related eye disease is a common factor in decreasing vision during night driving. Conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts.

What can I do to help change this?

As much as we would like, we can’t stop our eyes from aging. We can change our habits to make night driving safer.

  1. As you get older, when possible, plan you’re driving before sunset.
  2. Drive on streets you know.
  3. Avoid dark roads.
  4. Give yourself extra time.
  5. If conditions are bad, don’t drive or give yourself even more time.
  6. Don’t drive if you are stressed or tired. Uber!
  7. Always drive in defense. Give two car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
  8. When the weather is bad, give more than two car lengths ahead of you.
  9. Keep your car windows clean. Inside and out.
  10. Drive with safety features, like power steering, power breaks, and large mirrors.
  11. Service your car regularly. Knowing your car is in working order can keep you safe.
  12. Maintain windshield wipers.
  13. Align headlights regularly.
  14. Renew your skills with a driving class. This could save on your insurance as well!
  15. Talk to us about your options for lenses and vision correction, we can help!

If you are ready to get an eye exam, please contact us today! With offices all over Colorado we are ready to help!