Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Driving Safety & Vision

For many people, driving is an important part of each and every day. Doing so safely is even more important. If you have any difficulty seeing when you drive you need to be aware that there are some things you can do to maximize your vision and your safety.


Regular Eye Examinations

If you are between the ages of 40 and 65 we recommend that you have your eyes examined every two years-and more frequently if you have any family members that have sight-threatening eye conditions or problems. If you are over 65, we suggest a complete exam every 1-2 years depending on your overall health. As we get older, it is important to check for eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and age related macular degeneration at more frequent intervals. Should you experience any sudden changes in your vision or begin experiencing driving problems, especially at night, then it is important to schedule an eye exam right away.


Consider Your Eyewear

Your eyewear is an important part of driving safely! Sometimes our eyeglasses get a great deal of wear and tear. Your ability to get the best vision from your eyeglass prescription depends on having eyeglasses that are clean, fit well, and are free of scuffs and scratches. Scuffs and scratches cause light to be scattered making it difficult to see, especially at night. When getting a new pair of eyeglasses, you may want to consider antireflective and scratch resistant lenses, which help to decrease glare at night and have good longevity because of their special coatings. If you are driving during particularly bright daylight hours, consider prescription sunglasses and even polarized lenses if you drive near reflected sunlight from snow or water.


Automobile Maintenance

Be sure to keep your windshield clean, your washer full and your headlights and taillights in good working order. During a routine service ask to have your headlight alignment checked to be sure they are pointing at the correct position on the road. You may want to consider carrying an extra pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses in the glove box just in case you have an emergency.

Personal Judgment
If you are driving on a long trip, take a break and give your eyes a rest. Also, the use of artificial tears at regular intervals can soothe and comfort your eyes during long car trips.  Driving can be taxing. If you are venturing on a new route it may be worth avoiding traveling at dusk, night, dawn or in poor weather conditions. Let your comfort be your guide. When you visit us for your regular eye exam, please ask us about the medications you are taking and whether they can cause any difficulties with your vision. We are happy to take the time to answer your questions.

If you are having difficulty driving or feel uncomfortable with your vision for driving, please schedule an appointment by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937.