Your Eyes Are Aging, Too

Loss of vision is one of the changes that will affect us all as we age. In fact, it’s not unusual for people over 40 to begin to experience deterioration of their vision which ultimately affects their ability to drive, especially at night – a realization that can be paralyzing for older adults. The fear of losing the freedom to remain mobile is understandably hard for many seniors to accept. The inevitable changes to mind and body as we age can make driving a challenge and just one more thing to face as time marches on.

Are there “visual” warning signs to look for as you age? Yes, and here are four of them:

  1. Your eyes are more sensitive to glare. The headlights of oncoming cars can be blinding to aging eyes, making driving at night especially difficult. Driving in bright sunlight may also be a challenge.
  2. Your peripheral vision diminishes. Aging eyes are less likely to see possible hazards at the edges of their field of vision.
  3. Your eyes are harder to focus. If you have trouble focusing on nearby objects, it can be difficult to change focus quickly, as you glance at the speedometer and then try to refocus on the road. Blurry vision can also make it hard for you to read the speedometer.
  4. You need more light to see clearly. If you have cataracts, the light entering your eyes is dimmed and blurred. This makes it harder for you to see at night and to recognize important objects like street signs, pavement markings, raised curbs, medians, and more importantly, pedestrians, animals and other vehicles.

What can you do? If you aren’t yet ready to give up your car keys, taking these simple precautions could help keep you safe behind the wheel:

  • If possible, avoid driving at night, dusk or dawn.
  • Have cataract correction surgery if your doctor recommends it.
  • Always wear your glasses or contact lenses.
  • Check your blind spots often.
  • Keep your mirrors, windshield and headlights clean.
  • Have regular eye exams.

Call to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Silverstein, today, to stay on top of any issues your aging eyes may face: 908-879-7297.

Posted in: Eye Exam

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