Seeing Well at Night

Seeing Well at Night

Snowy road with cars

 

Living in Alaska means experiencing more than your fair share of long, dark nights. One of the greatest challenges Alaskans face is nighttime driving safety, especially on snowy or icy roads. In this blog, we’ll discuss the best ways to achieve clear vision and stay safe while driving at night. 

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. This can cause a number of symptoms including:

  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Blurry or dim vision
  • Halos and glare from lights, especially headlights
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Dim color vision

These symptoms can make night driving especially difficult and dangerous. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery. Cataract surgery can greatly improve vision, especially at night. If you are experiencing symptoms of cataracts, schedule a cataract evaluation with your ophthalmologist. During a cataract evaluation, your doctor will look at your cataracts to determine if they are the cause of your symptoms, and do additional tests to determine how much your vision may improve with surgery. To schedule a cataract evaluation with Dr. Katherine Johson, call or text  (907) 328-2920. To learn more about cataract surgery, read our blog

Eyewear

Stay up to date

Glasses and contact lenses should be up to date. If it has been a year or more since your last eye exam, it is a good idea to have your eyes checked. Even small changes in your prescription can have a significant impact on your visual clarity. Changes in vision often occur with age, but they may be a sign of something more serious. If you notice a change in your vision, schedule an eye exam. 

Make sure they are in good condition

Glasses that are scratched or damaged can cause distortion and reduce overall visual clarity, especially at night. If your lenses are scratched, you may need to replace them. If your glasses are bent or broken, bring them to your optician. They may be able to repair or adjust them without replacing the frames. If you wear contact lenses, make sure they are clean and do not overwear them. Contact lenses that are not properly cleaned or are worn for too long can develop deposits on the lenses. These deposits can cause irritation and blurry vision. 

Get the anti-reflective coating

Your optometrist or optician will recommend the best products for your visual needs. If you wear glasses, your optician will almost certainly recommend an anti-reflective coating for your lenses. These coatings allow up to 99% of light to pass through the lens, giving you the greatest possible clarity and reducing glare from reflected light. Anti-reflective coatings also help to prevent scratches, and make your lenses easier to clean. All of these features will contribute to the overall clarity of your eyewear. 

Keep your eyes moisturized

Dry eyes can contribute to blurry vision. Keeping your eyes moisturized can increase visual clarity. Preservative-free artificial tears can be used when eyes are feeling dry. Warm compresses can also help to alleviate symptoms. There are several factors that contribute to dry eye. If you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, including blurry vision, irritation, redness, and watery eyes, talk to your eye doctor about the causes and treatment options.

Keep your eyes comfortable

If you spend most of your day looking at digital devices, you may be suffering from digital eye strain. Common symptoms include:

  • Tired, irritated eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulders and neck
  • Trouble focusing

There are several options for minimizing symptoms of digital eye strain. Start by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away from your device. Focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.  Wear eyewear designed for computer use while at work. This eyewear minimizes strain on your eyes by reducing the amount of effort it takes to focus on near objects. Choose a blue-light blocking lens coating to filter out potentially harmful High Energy Visible (HEV) light rays. Wearing the right eyewear for work can help to make your eyes more comfortable for the drive home. For more information about your eyewear options, speak with an optician at (907) 328-2920.

Make sure your car is ready

Keep your windshield clean

A dirty windshield makes it harder to see and increases glare from bright lights. Keeping your windshield clean is an easy way to make sure you are seeing your best. 

Check your lights

Make sure your headlights are working and in proper alignment. This helps you to see better, and also makes it easier for other drivers to see you.

Dim your dash lights

Lowering your dash lights can reduce glare and reflections off of the windshield. Interior lights can be distracting and make it harder for your eyes to adjust in the dark. 

Keep yourself and others safe this winter by ensuring you are seeing your best. Safe winter driving starts with an eye exam at Mountain View Eye Center. To schedule, call or text (907) 328-2920. To learn more about your eyes, read all of the blog posts on our website at www.mountainvieweyes.com/blog

Written By: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

“Snow traffic” by pfly is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Posted in: Uncategorized

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