How to see better when driving at night

Bad weather and the shorter winter days make it difficult at night, especially for sufferers from certain very frequent eye diseases and over 50 years of age. Even drivers with perfect vision may find it difficult to distinguish sharp turns and obstacles between dark shadows and lights of vehicles coming from the opposite direction. The main reason for this is that people’s eyes have not been developed to see well in the dark. “We are day-to-day beings and not nocturnals”, says Dr. Anastasios-I. Kanellopoulos, MD, Surgeon- Ophthalmologist, founder and scientific director of the LaserVision Institute of Ophthalmology, Professor of Ophthalmology, University of New York. “Until the discovery of the first electric lamps, people were going to bed as soon as it was night. So our eyes did not evolve to work well at night.” The truth is that in darkness our eyes can adapt, but up to a limit. “The “secret” of changing our eye’s visual behavior to lower light conditions is that the eye’s daughter is expanding significantly (mydriasis)”, explains the professor. “This change makes the visual system “discover” many problems, which are reduced to the most intense light because this causes contraction to the pupil of the eye (mystic) resulting in most of them being functionally covered.” In charge of vision is the retinal tunic located in the back of the eyes. It has sticks and cones, i.e. specialized cells-hypods of light, which allow us to see what is around us from the east to the sunset. The adaptive ability of the eyes is not stable throughout life, but declines with age. “The children’s eyes adapt to darkness much better than adults’,” explains Dr. “The difference becomes even stronger after age 30, when the adaptive ability of the eyes in darkness begins to decrease”. Even if one does not have perfect vision (as with a quarter of the world’s inhabitants, according to the World Health Organization), the eyes may find it even more difficult to adapt to darkness. There are various eye diseases and disorders that reduce night vision. Some of the most common are cataract, age macular degeneration, and dry eye. The waterfall blurs the normal lens of the eye. In the evening sufferers may see a glow when the light hits the eye lens and diffuses. Shining can also be seen by dry eye sufferers, resulting in poor eyes when driving at night. The big problem is that the development of the waterfall is gradually evolving over time and for many years it is not perceived. The modern ocular practice has diagnostic technology that can easily and reliably document it: recording the thickness of the natural lens that “becomes” cataract and measuring the decrease of vision in the glow (glare) of light. This reduction is the greatest difficulty in night driving, along with the reduction in the ability to distinguish contrasting light contrasts (contrast sensitivity) and increasing the diffusion of light (scratter). Accordingly, age degeneration of macularity causes dysfunction in retinal cones. These cells distinguish colors and details in the idols where we focus. Conium dysfunction reduces central vision, which in the evening reduces depth perception, color recognition and peripheral perception. This means that suffering drivers may find it difficult to calculate accurately how far they are from other vehicles or to realize that someone is walking on the side of the road. Evening vision may also worsen the use of drugs for erectile dysfunction (alter its quality and resolution), but also diabetes mellitus when blood sugar (glucose) levels make abrupt changes (severe increases and abrupt decreases). In such a case, diabetic patients may have noticeable blurredness and decreased vision in the dark. Regardless of the underlying background, however, many drivers do not feel comfortable driving at night. A few years ago, research in Britain had shown that one in three drivers completely avoid driving at night, because they do not see well. More than half of them, after all, find it difficult to see clearly when the darkness falls and sits at the wheel of their car. In 25% of cases they said they find it difficult to focus on the road. 43% said they see blurry during night driving and nearly three quarters (the 73%) that the flash from passing vehicles bothers their eyes. Very disturbing to the eyes are also the “light-lights” (a.k.a.) and reflections from the lights on the streets and headlamps. A frequent cause for this is the dirty windows of cars, both from inside and outside, explains Dr. Kanellopoulos. They also play the worn-out wipers’ swabs, but also the drivers’ scratched or dirty corrective glasses. All this must be crystal clear to see well during night driving. So are your car lights. Very important too when driving at night is wearing a pair of glasses or contact lenses with the correct (and not outdated) correction grades. As mentioned above, low lighting in the evening causes dilation of the eye’s daughter, which may intensify any problem of focus however mild, causing blurred vision. “More than 90% of the information used by drivers is visual,” the professor points out and adds: “So vision should be in the best condition possible when driving at night. Most people over 45 years of age need some correction of their eyesight, to perfectly focus light on their eyes. This presupposes that they will often check their eyesight (at least once every two years, unless it is most often required for medical reasons) and will do the necessary treatment for any visual problems they may have. Remember, finally, that many of the major changes in vision with age, develop gradually and pass unnoticed by sufferers for long periods of time.”