You’re On My Nerves

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can result in damage to the optic nerve. Over time, these nerve cells can deteriorate and lead to blind spots in vision. Any sight loss from glaucoma is irreversible at this time.

Side by side

The condition is known to take from the edges of sight first. Without a full range of vision, anything coming from the side of vision can be harder to see. Failing to notice obstacles until these objects reach the central part of vision can result in accidents.

Going deep

Along with peripheral vision, depth perception is often quick to go. Individuals with glaucoma can have difficulty gauging how far away things vehicles and stop signs are in any condition. Struggles with depth perception may cause difficulty matching the speed of nearby cars or frequent break checks while driving.

Color me confused

Duller colors are another potential side effect of glaucoma. Once-bright hues lose luster and can become lost in a sea of gray. This means yellow road lines or even bright stop signs are harder to pick out while behind the wheel.

Your future is bright

Similarly, glaucoma reduces sensitivity to light. In nighttime conditions, having even less brightness for guidance promotes dangerous situations. The same holds true in a car. Missing traffic and brake lights is a recipe for a collision. Despite a lower light sensitivity, patients with glaucoma usually experience worse than normal glare. Oncoming headlights or streetlights can trigger haloes and a momentary state of total blindness.

Even mild can be spicy

Glaucoma typically evolves in stages and can take upwards of 15 years to cause blindness. Even mild cases of the disease can bring about the symptoms listed above. Therefore, taking necessary precautions when heading out the door is key.

Take a look around

Before going out, be sure to gauge how things look at night. Objects difficult to make out before leaving the house will only become harder to see once out and about. In these situations, consider postponing the trip until the following day or ask a friend or family member for help.

Go with glasses

Vision loss from glaucoma may be permanent, but glasses can still help to see better. Anti-reflective coatings typically reduce the effects of glare and allow more light to enter the eye. Yellow or orange tints can offer a boost to night vision as well.

Watch for close calls

There’s no such thing as a perfect driver, and near misses happen while cruising through the streets. Folks with glaucoma must assess if these incidents could be related to poor vision. An increase in the frequency of such events could be a sign that glaucoma is a prevalent factor.

Know when to stop

When venturing out at night, choose a safe scenario whenever possible. Every state has a visual requirement individuals must meet to legally operate a vehicle. Driving outside of those parameters can lead to a range of issues. An eye doctor can provide insight and the best treatment options for keeping sight in top form.