Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve sustains damage due to increased pressure in your eyes. The condition can cause changes to your vision that may affect your daily life. In particular, you may find driving to be challenging, which is why optical care providers recommend extreme caution.
Today, we explain how driving with glaucoma can lead to motor vehicle accidents (MVA).
How Glaucoma Affects Your Driving
Having good eyesight is important when driving. Your ability to clearly see not just the things in front of you but also peripherally is critical. This is why an eye exam is often a part of a driver’s license test. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that licensed drivers have visual acuity of at least 20/40.
When you have glaucoma, changes in your vision may hold you back from driving. Glaucoma is a serious condition that requires treatment from an optometrist. The condition causes peripheral vision loss, poor night vision and decreased sensitivity to contrast. You may also be more affected by glare, which can be distracting when you’re driving. Because of these symptoms, you may find it hard to react to sudden changes in road conditions. Changing lanes, keeping inside your lane or navigating curved roads may also be difficult, making driving hazardous.
What You Can Do
Early diagnosis and proper management of glaucoma can help you overcome difficulties when driving and keep you safe. Your eye care specialist may recommend that you apply eye drops that help lower the pressure in your eyes. For more severe cases, undergoing surgery or laser treatment can be effective ways to manage glaucoma. Your eye doctor may also suggest wearing amber-tinted lenses or upgrading your eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare and enhance contrast.
To learn more about glaucoma, call us at (425) 771-8472 for Alderwood Optical or (425) 485-0430 for Canyon Park Vision Clinic. You may also complete our form to schedule a visit. We serve Bothell and the surrounding WA communities.