People having astigmatism find it difficult to see and focus during the night compared to daytime. Their pupil dilates in low light allowing the entry of more light into the eye which gets refracted in the wrong direction leading to more blurring and glare compared to day. It becomes increasingly difficult to drive around at night with astigmatism as traffic lights and oncoming headlights create distracting glares making it difficult to focus on the road ahead.
Can you drive with astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a vision condition causing distorted, blurred or double vision. It can be caused either by an irregularly shaped cornea or a trauma to the eye. At night your eyes will dilate to let in more light and causing problems with glare and halos around headlights and streetlights. However, driving with astigmatism is possible provided you have it under control. You should maintain a distance of 20 feet from any large object that is on the side of your dominant eye. You should also turn your head for looking at anything that is on the side of your non-dominant eye.
What does driving with astigmatism look like?
Astigmatism has a few common symptoms such as strong headlight glare, viewing lights surrounded with halos, smaller field of view, blurred vision, and fuzzy eyesight. However, everyone won’t experience night driving in the same manner. The severity of astigmatism on a person’s vision will be influenced by their eye condition and anatomy.
Will you need night-driving glasses for astigmatism?
Everyone with astigmatism won’t require glasses. You might still have 20/20 vision even with slight astigmatism. However, regular eye checkups become mandatory in this case. At times, orthokeratology or corrective surgery can be used to correct vision rather than using glasses. If you are prescribed contact lenses by your doctor, then keep rewetting drops handy especially while driving at night. Dryness can affect the comfort of your contact lenses and also your vision. Different surgical procedures like LASIK eye surgery can remove tissue from the inner layer of the cornea to correct astigmatism. Alternatively, you can try out PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) for reshaping the eye by removing tissue from the top and inner layers of the cornea. Under the Orthokeratology procedure, rigid contacts are used to reshape the cornea temporarily. You have to wear these contacts overnight and remove them in the morning. They can yield excellent results in correcting moderate astigmatism when worn regularly.
Factors to consider while buying the best night driving glasses for astigmatism
All glasses aren’t created equal. Your vision with astigmatism can be immensely affected by the materials that make up the lenses, the frame shape, and even the coatings used. Usually, these frames are accompanied by special cylindrical lenses which compensate for how light passes through the cornea. Doctors recommend a single-vision lens for driving at night with astigmatism. However, patients over 40 years of age can opt for progressive or bifocal glasses.
- The frame you select should fit your face. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight and should have enough space for your nose and ears. Flat frames are better for astigmatism as wraparound or curved frames tend to bend the light and distort your vision. Your chosen frame should sit securely on the bridge of your nose to offer clear vision and better focus.
- While you can choose the lens material depending on your personal preference, it is best to stick to plastic lenses as they are lighter than glass ones and also provide better UV protection. A higher level of astigmatism calls for a thinner type of lens compared to the standard ones. Standard plastic lenses are more affordable and can be helpful for low levels of astigmatism.
- Yellow-tinted lenses will be the best choice for night driving. Since the yellow color length wave is located at the center of the spectrum of the human eye, it is therefore the most balanced color. Getting a premium-grade yellow lens will help filter harmful blue rays and reduce glare.
- Choose a pair of glasses with an anti-reflective coating that might decrease or eliminate unwanted halos, glare, and odd reflections seen at night.
- Nothing is more frustrating than having the lenses of your safety glasses fog from sweat, your breath, or the outside air temperature. It becomes easy to work in any condition courtesy of the fog-free lenses as you don’t have to take off your glasses and wipe them now and then.
- Getting a blue light refracting lens is an added plus as it can protect your eyes from blue light rays that can keep you buffered from fatigue and headaches.
Tips to see clearly while driving at night with astigmatism
Almost all cases of astigmatism can be corrected easily with proper contact lens prescription and eyeglasses. You can enjoy clear vision while driving at night with astigmatism by following the tips listed below:
- Visit your eye doctor for an eye examination if you think you have astigmatism and see changes in your vision at night. Since astigmatism worsens with time, it is advisable to take annual eye exams to monitor all vision changes and adjust accordingly.
- You can ask your doctor about the options available as astigmatism can be corrected with contact lenses or proper eyeglasses.
- For reducing the amount of light entering your eye, it is advisable to wear non-glare lenses. This is extremely helpful for people with astigmatism.
- It is always advisable to practice safe driving once you get behind the wheel at night, Often, drivers with astigmatism lack confidence while driving at night. For reducing the pressure of driving at night you can follow these tips:
- Reduce distractions
- Keep up with routine car maintenance
- Plan for extra driving time
- Don’t drive when you are tired
- Lower your car’s interior cabin lights
- Avoid looking directly at the oncoming traffic
- For improving your night driving view and reducing glare, you can follow the below-mentioned tips:
- Clean your car’s windows, windshields, and mirrors now and then.
- Maintain your windshield wiper blades which might wear out with time leaving smears and smudges making it harder to see out your front window.
- Illuminate your view of the road ahead by cleaning your car’s headlights. You can get the cloudy headlights professionally restored or walk the DIY path after buying a headlight-cleaning kit from an automotive parts store.
- Using the night setting on your rearview mirror will help reduce glare from the headlights in the car behind you.
Driving at night can be an intimidating experience for most people. Given the lack of adequate light, it gets difficult to see the road ahead thus increasing the risk of accidents. Night driving glasses serve as the perfect solution to this problem. They filter oncoming glare both in front of you and your peripheral vision so that it gets easier to see the road ahead.
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