Q: Every fall, when we change the clocks, I must drive home in the dark and have more trouble seeing well. This makes me uneasy driving all winter. Any suggestions to help?
A: Yours is a very common complaint, and there are a few things we recommend to help. First of all, if your vision has not been checked or your glasses updated in over a year, see your eye doctor.
Very often our vision changes gradually and we do not notice. This is especially true for people over fifty. We frequently find that a slightly stronger prescription can make night vision sharper.
Second, there are newer “anti-glare” or glare-free lenses made now that reduce that annoying headlight glare that makes seeing the road more difficult. Unfortunately, there are several types or brands of glare-free lenses available….making it harder to know which one you are getting in your eyewear. Generally, the newer, better ones cost more and last longer. Ask your eye doctor or optician about the different levels of glare-free lenses.
Third, we can prescribe “night driving lenses” that enhance our vision in the dark. These are specialized lenses to brighten up our night vision and give us a better view down the highway. These amber-tinted lenses are only for night vision needs, and should not be worn on sunny days. Our eyes actually see better in the dark when we have amber light instead of white light. This option is better for “brightening up” the dark world out of your windshield.
Lastly, some patients tell us that they see improvement with certain nutritional supplements. I am not a nutrition expert, and it is almost impossible to really know what is in the countless supplements sold with various claims. Nonetheless, we have had patients report improvement with both doctor-directed supplements and with over-the-counter supplements. Perhaps have a discussion with your eye doctor about this option before you randomly buy something at the pharmacy.
I should add that for many people over 60 the night driving issue is caused by early cataract development. Your eye doctor can easily diagnose this and advise you about treatment options.
Call Morgantown Eye Associates on 304-381-5353 to schedule an eye exam with our Morgantown optometrist.
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