The importance of safe driving cannot be overstated. When you have spent years driving through your city, state, or the nation, you tend to have a relative ease about your driving habits. However, this can create a risk of which you may not be aware. The U.S. National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging has discovered that older individuals may have unique risks that they encounter when they hit the road after dark. Let’s look at some of the ways that risks can be decreased.
- Eye conditions only exacerbate the existing risks associated with driving at night. For that reason, it is crucial that older individuals stay current with their eye exams. If an eye condition has already been diagnosed, eye exams may need to occur more frequently than the recommended annual visit.Diabetics are at a greater risk for eye conditions, and are advised to make healthy food choices on a daily basis in order to manage eye health. Uncontrolled glucose levels create a substantial risk for retinopathy, or increased intraocular pressure that can ultimately cause nerve damage that steals vision.
- Some people wear dark eyeglasses or sunglasses to reduce visual distortions that occur at night. Instead, you can talk with your eye doctor about prescription glasses (even non vision-correcting) that have a special anti-glare coating.
- People with cataracts have unique obstacles that may prevent them from driving safely. If you have cataracts and want to retain your ability to drive well into the future, talk with your doctor about removal. One of the options for replacement lenses includes the aspheric type, which creates better contrast sensitivity for clearer vision.
- Aside from managing eye health, driving habits also increase or decrease a person’s risk for collision. According to research, 40% of the accidents that older drivers experience occur at intersections, especially when a left-hand turn is involved. So, pay close attention anytime you approach an intersection!
Driving is an important aspect of independence that older drivers should not be forced to hand over prematurely. Healthy eyes give you a lifetime of good vision. To schedule your visit with us, call (352) 237-8400.
Image courtesy of sephirot17 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net