Night Blindness- Tips to Improve Night Driving

The percentage of drivers who struggle with Night Blindness tends to increase with age. Find out what you can do to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe when driving at night.

Quick Guide:

- Make sure your glasses have a multicoat on them! What's a multicoat and how can you tell if your glasses have one? Read more...

- Get your eyes checked, to ensure your symptoms are not part of a different issue. Book in for a Comprehensive Eye Test here

- Talk to us about getting a pair of specially-tinted glasses for night driving

1. Ensure your night blindness is not a symptom of something else.

Vision loss is a symptom of many eye conditions. It generally progresses so gradually, most people don't notice until significant loss has occurred. Your optometrist is able to monitor and detect vision changes much earlier than this, which means a regular check-up could just save your sight.

If you have noticed changes to your vision, or that suddenly you struggle with night driving, it may be time for a check-up!

If you are at a higher risk of developing Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma or Cataracts, it is particularly important to stay up to date with your eye exams, and follow your Optometrist's and GP's advice to control or slow the progression of your condition and minimise vision loss.

At Optometrist Parramatta, we recommend yearly examinations after you turn 65, or a comprehensive eye exam every three years if you are under 65. Book in now

2. Ensure your glasses have a multi-coat on them

If you wear glasses, you may have heard of the term 'multi-coat'. A multi-coat or 'anti-reflective coating' is a series of coatings applied to your lenses at the time of manufacture which help minimise lens reflections. These anti-reflective coatings significantly improve vision and clarity, particularly in front of artificial lights such as digital screens, car headlights and fluorescent lights in the office.

At Optometrist Parramatta, we don't compromise on your vision. Our lenses always include a multicoat, unless there is a specific reason for requiring

How can I tell if my glasses have a Multi-Coat on them?

You can tell your lenses don't have a multicoat if there is a halo or warping around light sources, poor contrast or clarity, or distracting reflections in your eyes. If you have purchased glasses online or from a discount chain store, it is quite possible your lenses do NOT have a multicoat, as this is a cheaper option.

On the road, particularly at night when there is poor visibility, these distractions can be dangerous, so ensure you are wearing high quality lenses with an anti-reflective coating to minimise these risks.

At Optometrist Parramatta, we don't compromise your sight. We use only use high quality lenses made by Hoya, Nikon and Essilor and our lenses always include a multi-coat, unless a hard coat is needed for specific purposes such as workers or tradesmen who require stronger lenses. Even then, if you need glasses for driving, we would highly recommend a separate pair of lenses with a multicoat for safety at night.

3. Talk to us about getting a special pair of tinted glasses for driving at night

Special lenses have been developed to help improve clarity when night driving. These specialised lenses are tinted yellow- similar to yellow fog lights on a car- and are available in both prescription and non prescription.

Yellow tints actually reduce contrast by blocking blue and violet light- while this may seem like the last thing you would want, it actually helps to reduce glare and improve vision in low-light conditions

When driving in low-light conditions such as at night, headlights are incredibly bright compared to your surroundings, which hinders your vision and can be dangerous. A yellow lens reduces the contrast between the dark environment you're driving in and the bright lights you may come across, such as headlights or streetlights and for this reason can be helpful if you struggle with night blindness. It's important to also ensure these lenses also have a multicoat, to further reduce glare.

It's important to remember that no one sees exactly the same. Some people find yellow tints beneficial at night, others not. As they have the ability to alter aspects of your vision such as contrast and possibly depth perception, it is crucial to exercise caution when first using these lenses, and to give yourself time to adjust to them.

Make an appointment to discuss your night blindness with one of our optometrists.

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