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28Jan2014

Important Vision Information About Driving After Dark

DURING THOSE TIMES OF YEAR WHEN THE NIGHTS ARE LONGER, and we’re spending early mornings and evenings driving in the dark, something becomes glaringly apparent—it’s just harder to see when we’re driving after dark!

Driving With Visual Distraction Is Dangerous!

Unfortunately, many people don’t take this fact as seriously as they should. Perhaps they’ve become so accustomed to this type of blurred, haloed vision that they don’t notice it anymore. They simply squint and continue on their way.

Our night vision (especially when driving) can be impaired not only by the darkness, but also by the sudden glares of light from other cars, traffic signals, street lamps, etc. These things force our eyes to constantly adjust, leaving split seconds of impaired vision between adjustments.

Here’s a short video about this topic from Bausch+Lomb and The Canadian Association of Optometrists:

As We Age, This Problem Is More Pronounced

Our eyes sense light with two different types of cells—rods and cones. Rod cells work best in low light. If you’re over 40, this may be more of a problem than it used to be. Here are three reasons why:

  1. We have fewer rod cells, which work to pick up small amounts of light.
  2. The lenses in our eyes become stiffer and cloudier.
  3. The light receptors on our rods can’t regenerate as fast.

What Can Be Done To Help?

Whatever your age, there are things that can improve your sight at night. Often there are simple adjustments that can be made to your eyeglasses or contacts prescription that help. Let’s visit about your specific needs. If you’re concerned about your vision as you drive at night, schedule an appointment with us. And of course, if you’re at a point where your night vision is seriously impaired, avoid night driving and plan such activities for the daytime.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend! Keep safe out there when you’re driving at night!

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