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August 7, 2015
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How to Improve Night Vision while Driving

Seeing at night can often be challenging, due to decreased visual distance and sensitivity to contrasts in brightness.

Here are some ways to improve your eyesight when driving in the dark.

  • Regular Eye Exams. If you have an eye condition, you should get your eyes examined annually, to check for changes to your prescription. Proper eyewear couldn’t be more essential than when driving at night.
  • Use Peripheral Vision. The rods, concentrated around the retina, help with motion detection. Using peripheral vision should improve awareness of moving objects.
  • Wear Sunglasses During the Day. Since radiation and bright light can reduce our ability to see in the dark, wearing sunglass during the day should make it easier for our eyes to adjust to the dark. Conversely, too much bright light during the day will temporarily impair night vision. Look for sunglasses with lenses that transmit 15% of visible light. Talking to an eye care professional should help determine what kind of sunglasses will best protect your eyes.
  • Avoiding Bright Light. Looking at a bright light will cause your pupils to contract, making it more difficult to see in the dark. This is known as bleaching of the retina, temporarily decreasing your sensitivity to light. Shift your gaze down and to the right to avoid being blinded by approaching headlights. You can use lane markers as a reference point until headlights have passed. Also, closing one eye will mean you’ll have the benefit of unimpaired vision once the bright light has passed.
  • Use Antireflective (AR) Coating on Eyeglasses. By decreasing the amount of reflected light, good coating can reduce the amount of light reaching your eyes by about 8%. Keep in mind that AR coated lenses will not improve vision for drivers who don’t ordinarily wear corrective lenses.
  • Keep Eyes Moving. Look around as much as you can in the dark, rather than just the area illuminated by your headlights. This constant movement keeps eyes from getting fatigued.

Driving with contacts you’ve been wearing all day may cause fuzziness due to protein buildup on the lenses. Be aware that this creates glare as well as halos around lights.

If you’re having trouble seeing at night, you may suffer from night blindness and should consider an eye exam. For questions about proper eyewear at night, feel free to schedule a visit with one of our Los Angeles eye doctors at 877-871-1684.