While you drive, do you see halos around lights? Do you have cataracts? Cataracts can make many things challenging including driving. Keep reading to learn if it's safe to drive with cataracts!
What is a Cataract?
Cataracts occur when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy. This is due to proteins in the eye clumping together over time.
Cataracts are the most common form of vision loss in adults over 40. They are also the main cause of blindness worldwide.
Cataracts will give you blurry and dull vision, making it difficult to do all the activities you like to. The good news is that you can remove your cataracts during cataract surgery. The procedure is safe and will improve your vision.
What Are Signs That I Shouldn’t Drive with Cataracts?
If you have cataracts, it doesn't always mean that you shouldn't be driving. But there are some signs that you should be on the lookout for. You should be concerned if:
- You have problems seeing at sunrise, sunset and at night
- You think that sunlight is too strong
- Driving at night is too difficult because of glare from headlights colors seem faded
- You see double images with the eye(s) that has cataracts.
When Should I Have Cataract Surgery?
Having cataracts doesn't mean you need cataract surgery right away. A good rule of thumb is it's time for cataract surgery if your cataracts are standing in your way of living. This means it's too difficult to drive or your glasses and contacts no longer help.
Many people with cataracts don't want cataract surgery or feel that their vision is fine. But if you get into a car accident, it's clearly time for cataract surgery.
It is important to figure out your boundaries when deciding to have cataract surgery.
Are There Other Treatments Besides Surgery?
When treating cataracts, no. But if you want help driving, you can go to a driving rehabilitation specialist. You can also consider seeing an occupational therapist.
A driving rehabilitation specialist will test how well you drive on and off the road. They could also offer help in improving your driving skills.
This is a way to keep you and everyone around you safe on the road. An occupational therapist with specific training can give driving skill assessments and remediation.
Can I Still Drive with Cataracts?
If you have cataracts, then there are some things to remember while driving.
Everyone’s Cataracts are Different
In the beginning, cataracts are small and will not impact your vision. You could be able to see clearly and drive safely for years. Over time, the cataract could get worse and will likely make your vision cloudy.
It Can Become Hard to See and Drive
You might need to plan your driving around times when your vision isn't affected. For example, this may mean avoiding driving east at sunrise or when it is raining at night.
Make sure to keep your windshield clear to prevent more reductions to your vision. You should also clean your headlights, so you have as much light possible for driving at night.
Are your cataracts interfering with your life? Schedule a cataract screening at Omaha Eye & Laser Institute in Omaha, NE today! It's time to get on the road to seeing clearly again!