As we age, there are a number of disorders and diseases that we could get which will affect our eyesight. One thing that comes with age is difficulty seeing at night, which can be a huge safety hazard, especially for those of us that drive. And as driving is a way that we maintain our independence, it certainly isn’t something we want to lose. In order to stay safe while driving at night, I’ve listed 7 eyesight tips, teaching you how to improve your eyesight while driving in the dark.
Get Your Eyes Tested Regularly
This seems like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised! It’s important to get your eyes examined at least once annually or more if you have any sort of condition. Getting your eyes tested regularly, especially for farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism can help determine whether or not you’ll need your prescription updated. When you’re on the road anytime, but especially at night, you need to take the upmost care to ensure that you have the proper prescription for your eyesight needs.
Be Cautious Approaching Intersections
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 40% of collisions that occur with other motorists are fatal. Did you know that the majority of that percentage occurred when one party failed to yield (and also while making left hand turns in particular)? For this reason, it is recommended that you cautiously approach intersections. Use your eyes to judge the distance between your car and an upcoming intersection and how much time you’ll reasonably to stop safely.
Use Your Peripheral Vision
The retina part of our eye sees using rods and cones. While the cones help to decipher color, the rods help with motion detection. The rods in our eyes are very concentrated around the retina and so if you’d like to get the most out of your night vision, try to use your peripheral vision.
Wear Sunglasses During the Day
Wearing sunglasses during the day can help you adjust to seeing well at night. Why? Because all that radiation and bright light from the sun can severely reduce your ability to see in the dark. Just 10 minutes a day for 10 days can mean a 50% loss of night vision. To avoid this, you want to make sure that you’re wearing sunglasses with lenses that transmits 15% of visible light. If you’re not sure what kind of sunglasses are best for you and are especially interested in getting a pair with your eyeglass prescription, feel free to reach out and see what’s available today.
The effect that carbon monoxide and nicotine have on your body does more than affect your heart and lung health. It turns out that those who smoke are more likely to suffer from poor night vision. Beware also, if someone close to you smokes—second hand smoke can be just as detrimental to your eye health.
Use the Pirate Method
It turns out that pirates may have not been wearing patches for the fashion statement. Shading one eye from the light can help to maintain your night vision in the other eye so that the adjustment isn’t so jarring.
Don’t Look at the Light
Have you ever tried looking at your eyes as you flicked a light switch on and off? You’ll probably realize that as you turn on the light, your pupils contract. This same thing happens when you’re driving at night and look straight into another driver’s headlights. Doing this causes your pupils to contract and in turn, increases the amount of time in will take your eyes to adjust again to seeing at night. For this reason, try to avoid looking at lights head on.
What Have You Done?
Is there anything specific that you’ve done to improve your eyesight at night? One possible long-term solution to look into is LASIK eye surgery. Driving in the dark can be stressful for those without perfect eyesight and we want all the help we can get. Feel free to get in touch and let us know what helps you, or contrarily, if you want further advice on what you can do to improve your night vision, we can help advise you on that, too. If you’re curious about all around eye health and vision care, feel free to peruse our blog!