How to Handle Night Blindness and Headlight Glare
Driving at night on unfamiliar highways is not aided by oncoming headlight glare. The glare is magnified by the fact that many people drive with the headlights' high beams on continually, no matter where they are or the general visibility of the roads.
In the State of Alaska, drivers must have their headlights switched on at all times, by state law, because of general visibility conditions at those lattitudes and climate. In Ohio, legislation was recently passed to require headlights switched on each time windshield wipers are activated. Other states have additional rules and regulations for driving related to visibility. Nighttime visibility remains a potential problem.
From the Cleveland Clinic
Night Blindness is a condition of inability to see in dim light, also known as nyctalopia. It is apparently caused by other conditions of the eye. These can include:
- Vitamin A deficiency, treatable with supplements and dietary adjustments.
- Near-sightedness or myopia - A new eyeglass lens presciption can relieve the problem.
- The effects of glaucoma medications - Ask your doctor about your medications and wether they should be changed.
- Cataracts - The clouding of the lens inside of the eye. This not a growth over the outside of the eye, as some legends tell. Some cataracts can be treated by surgical removal and replacement with an opitcal lens - an aunt of mine had this successfully performed in the late 1970s and surgical techniques have improved quite a lot since then. It's even doen on an outpatient basis now.
- Retinitis pigmentosa - Affecting close to 100,000 people in the USA, this is a condition of the rods and cones of the retina. They begin to lose function. No treatment or cure exists in 2010, but research is under way. Some forms of this conditioncan lead to eventual blindness, bit not all of them so do. See your eye doctor yearly for examinations. If you see flashing lights and have loss of vision to the side, these may be symptoms, so call your eye doctor.
NOTE: I find that I have suffered Vitamin A deficiency from time to time, but now examine my diet more carefully with that in mind. However, I also find that scratched eye glass lenses can cause lack of night vision, easily correctible with new lenses, although not always inexpensive.
Eyeglass Lens Repair
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Headlight Glare at Night
I hate headlight glare in good weather, let along rainy, icy, or snowy conditions. In severe weather, I have found that I simply must pull off to the side of the road until a surge of oncoming traffic has passed. One set of headlights is not a problem, but 20 sets of high beams drive me off the road. A yellow-lensed nighttime set of "sunglasses" is reputed to reduce the glare, but I have not yet tried any. If you have and they work, please note it in the Comments section below.
Cataracts can cause an inability to handle headlight glare and the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics advise that about half of all people over 65 have cataracts to one degree or another. Younger people may also suffer cataracts, even infants - from birth conditions, Younger people may suffer cataracts as an effect of diabetes or injury. Keeping the whole body healthy helps keep the eyes healthy. Fortunately, I do not have cataracts.
I find that driving when my eyes are tired from looking at computer screens too much will interfere with both night vision and ability to handle headlight glare, so I rest my eyes more often, especially before I drive at night. Cleaning my eyeglasses, sunglasses, and windshield regularly has also helped. Lastly, ensuring a proper intake of Vitamin A has been a tremendous help to my eyesight in the last year.
My particular situation is that eyeglass lenses scratch too easily, even with non-scratch surfaces and proper cleaning and storage. Part II of this is my eyesight is improving rather than declining, with astigmatism completely disappeared in recent years.
Perhaps one day I'll throw away the glasses, but but until the doctor comfirms my eye health.
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