Winter is coming and the dark nights are getting longer.  This means most of us have to spend increased time driving in the dark.  If you don’t have perfect vision, like many of us, then this can be a daunting and stressful task, especially as we age.

Why Does Driving At Night Get Harder As We Age? 

As we age, our eyes change. Gradually, the lenses in our eyes grow stiffer, making it harder for us to focus.  They also become cloudier, causing increased sensitivity to glare.  The road can sure seem different at night than during the day because of these two factors.  Curves in the road, pedestrians, and other upcoming objects can become more difficult to see.  This, coupled with deep shadows in the darkness and the glare of oncoming headlights, can drastically rattle our confidence in our nighttime driving.  As we age, we also lose some of the rods in our eyes that distinguish between dark and light, only adding to the difficulties.  Overtime, all of these factors combine to make driving in the dark harder and harder to do.  It is important that we slow down while driving at night and take a little extra precaution for ourselves and for others driving around us.

Building Confidence In Driving At Night

There are a variety of things you can do to help you feel more secure about driving at night.  One of the simplest is to just pay attention to the changes you notice in your vision as you age.  Noticing that your vision is becoming more cloudy, blurry, or dim can indicate you are experiencing symptoms of eye problems that can cause driving at night more difficult.  Seeing halo effects, experiencing increased glare, and having eye fatigue may also all indicate underlying issues.  We recommend you get these checked out as soon as possible.  The solution could be as simple as updating your prescription, but it is best to catch any more significant issue that might be going on early to allow for best treatment.

Other steps you can take to increase your confidence in driving at night might include wearing specific prescription glasses for night driving, eating foods that boost eye health, like spinach and carrots, making sure the windshield is cleaned appropriately and that your headlights are clear and not fogged over, and ensuring you are getting adequate sleep.

We care about your health and safety.  Nighttime driving can be a stressful and frustrating task as we age.  If you get to a point where you just aren’t feeling safe driving in the dark, it might be best to adjust your schedule and make arrangements to ensure you aren’t needing to drive after daylight hours.  Please come and see us and let our team examine the cause behind the difficulty you are experiencing in your vision.

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