For many people across the globe, driving becomes a second nature and in turn, many people take for granted this luxury. In today’s age, people are constantly on the move and squeezing in things to every second of the schedule. You don’t realize how far we have come with technology in order to make our lives as convenient as possible. As we age, these things don’t come as easy or quickly as they once did. Things start to slow down and don’t tend to work as well as they once did. As times go on, many people around the world start to develop various health issues and concerns. One common issue with people starting to age is that their eyes start to weaken. Cataracts start to develop and can bring on many negative side effects, which are more prevalent when behind the wheel of an automobile. This is why Cataracts and Driving is a serious issue in the world today.
So what is a cataract?
According to MayoClinic, “A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lense is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window.” Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can cause changes in vision. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy or fuzzy vision as well as sensitivity to glare.
Cataracts and Driving
Cataracts and driving is a relationship that many people have to deal with on a day to day basis. Considering that driving is a developed skill, one small change in your ability to read situations could be fatal. Cataracts can make it very difficult to see many things effecting a driver such as the street signs, road conditions, other vehicles and pedestrians on the road.
Some of the signs of cataracts could be objects appearing distorted or blurry, faded colors and serious problems with glare on the road. The sun glare coming off of other cars or directly from the sun will be intensified and can cause you to make unwise decisions behind the wheel. Many people with cataracts have a very hard time driving at night as well. The oncoming car’s headlights appear very bright and make it hard to focus on the road. If you have any of these issues or symptoms you should see your eye doctor. Make sure that you have somebody else drive you to the doctor and refrain from getting behind the wheel.
What Should I do?
It is possible to drive safely with cataracts. Discuss your individual issues with your health care provider to decide whether it is safe for you to get behind the wheel. Your cataracts could be small enough where driving is not an issue for you and wouldn’t notice much change. Depending on if your cataracts grow you could go years without noticing any issues with driving.
If you do have cataracts you should still look to protect your eyes in any way that you can so you do not further damage your eyes. Make sure you use Polarized lenses when out in the bright sun. It is important to keep the strain on your eyes to a bare minimum. Try to avoid night driving, but if you must we do recommend taking it slow and if your eyes do get tired that you pull off to the nearest safe exit and rest before you continue your drive. Although not officially approved by Eye Doctors many people find help from polarized car visors such as the ones that we offer here at Glare Guard.
If your cataracts really start to negatively affect your life, you may look into surgery. For more information on Cataract surgery we recommend checking out this article by WebMD. Many people recommend surgery when it starts to get in the way of things you want to do in life.
Other things to know with Cataracts and Driving
If you do have Cataracts there are some legal regulations you should be aware of. In some states you need authorization from an eye doctor before you can continue driving. To see if your state requires authorization visit seniordrivers.org. Many people have questions on when it is alright to drive after cataract surgery. While there are many aspects to this, the best advice we can provide is to check out the page on Cataracts by Dr. Gary Foster.
If you have had any experiences or if you have any tips you would like to share please leave them in the comments below.