Why do I have problems driving at night?
Do you dislike or avoid driving at night because the other cars’ headlights seem so bright & annoying? Do you sometimes have trouble seeing the edge of the road or lane lines?
One of the main causes of these problems is the increasing haziness of the natural lens inside our own eye. When we are born, our internal lens is nice & clear, but as we go through life our lens gradually becomes hazier – it happens to everyone, but it’s worse if you’ve had a lot of sun exposure without wearing sunglasses.
The result of this natural process is that the headlights of oncoming cars seem brighter and glarier, making it harder to drive at night. For most people, this really starts to become noticeable past the age of 60 or so.
If you a hazy lens, it’ll be visible to your optometrist during your eye examination using a microscope, and it’s even possible to photograph the haze and show it to you on a computer screen.
What can you do about it?
- The easiest tip is to keep your car windscreen absolutely clean, inside & out. Any smudges, smears, or oily films left on your windscreen will cause lights to scatter, making glare worse.
- Make sure your headlights are clean and pointed in the right direction – a minor bump could have caused a misalignment that you’re not even aware of. Ask your mechanic to check them.
- Even though your vision for daytime driving might be excellent, a pair of prescription night driving glasses with anti-reflective coating can really help some people in reducing the ‘spread out’ appearance of lights at night time. A proper eye & vision examination is the way to find out if this will help you.
- Eventually, if a hazy lens becomes really cloudy or foggy then you end up with a cataract. Modern cataract surgery is relatively fast and safe, and often results in a huge improvement in night time vision. We assess every patient for cataracts, and if found we can refer you to a local ophthalmologist for possible cataract surgery.