According to the World Health Organization (WHO), glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide after cataract. It is an insidious eye disorder, which leads to progressive damage of the optic nerve in a characteristic pattern leading to loss of vision. Sadly, many people aren’t even aware that they are suffering from such eye disorder.
At the eye check-up rooms of Advanced Eye Hospital, near Vashi in Navi Mumbai, the most common complaint of the patients is difficulty faced while night driving. Other general eye complaints are night blindness, blurring of vision after the sunset, glare from streetlights.
Symptoms of glaucoma affecting our eye:
Patients suffering from glaucoma have clear and normal central vision but gradually lose peripheral or side vision as shown in the image. So, while driving if you feel automobiles appear out of nowhere or you have frequent nearly-missed-an-accident experiences, or parking difficulties, it is high time to visit an eye specialist.
Learn about the causes, signs & symptoms and treatments of glaucoma here.
In a recent study it has been shown that drivers with even mild to moderate loss of field of vision can have
- impaired driving performance
- Being rated as less safe
- and More driving errors at traffic-light controlled places as compared to the same-aged drivers without glaucoma.
Delayed adaptation to low contrast conditions: Sometimes people suffering from glaucoma have delayed dark adaption and also poor contrast sensitivity. This can interfere in their day to day activities like night driving, moving around in low light conditions and sudden change of light from bright to dim light.
How to deal with it?
- The first and the foremost step is awareness and acceptance of such problems and treat them before they take toll on our health and overall well-being.
- Wear caps/hats and sunglasses during daytime. Ensure well-balanced inclusion of all the fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Light passing through dirty windshield refracts from smudge thereby intensifying the glare. So, make sure your windshield is regularly cleaned with alcohol based cleaner.
- Dim the dash lights. This is because once you dim the instrument panel inside the car, you will see better outside. Put that rheostat in the panel to use.
- Perpetual and quick care you can give yourselves is by asking your family members or friends or relatives to accompany you while driving.
- With various cab or taxi sharing schemes available nowadays, one can opt for the same or simply hire a public transport or even drop or lift your office colleagues or friends in your personal car.
- Regularly undergo complete eye-check up and consult the best eye doctor nearby to detect hidden eye disorders like glaucoma and treat it before it worsens.
For sure, having an eye disease, eye disorder or eye problem does not mean abandoning driving or any other passion. Therefore, keep yourself healthy and safe.