Clear vision is important, especially for those who drive to make a living. These people should be acutely aware that their eye health is a top priority.
However, there are some conditions that people don’t know much about that can significantly affect one’s eyesight. This is especially crucial for those who drive a lot, as drivers with poor vision or eye health are more susceptible to accidents.
Clearing the Bar
The first thing that drivers must do is clear the Snellen vision test. This test is also known as the visual acuity test and is used to determine whether someone can read the smallest letters on a standardized chart. The test takes place 20 feet away from the eye chart, without glasses or contact lenses.
To legally hold a valid license, drivers must reach specific metrics for eyesight with either your natural vision or with corrective lenses and contacts. These metrics vary from state-to-state, where some have certain restrictions, and others do not.
With that being said, some driver’s license requirements may be stricter for certain professions. For example, truck drivers require a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) license, rather than a regular one (CDL). The difference between a CMV and a CDL is that drivers that hold the latter license must not operate a vehicle under 26,000 pounds and a driver who holds a CMV license must be over 21 years of age.
The Risks on the Open Road
There are quite a few risks that come with driving, and below is a list of the most common elemental occurrences.
- Brightness– Brightness can not only cause sun damage over time, but driving into the sun makes it very difficult to see the road and other drivers ahead of you.
- Glare– Glare is usually an offset from sun brightness and can cause the same amount of risk and potential hazards.
- Night-time Driving– Driving at night can pose a risk because it’s incredibly dark, and roads don’t tend to be lit up exponentially.
- Weather Conditions– Wet weather conditions are by far the most significant risk when it comes to driving. Wet roads pose a risk for skidding, as tires tend to slide more when you attempt to brake on wet roads.
- Distractions in Your Field of View– Whether you have passengers in your car or there’s a traffic accident on the road, there are a lot of things that can distract you from driving.
While there are many risks on the road, there are also conditions that can deteriorate your eyesight over time, including:
- Dry Eye– This condition occurs when tears aren’t able to provide proper lubrication of the eye, leaving the affected person in discomfort and sensitive to light.
- Macular Degeneration– This is a disease that causes part of the retina to become damaged and cause loss of central vision.
- Glaucoma– This disease damages your eye’s optic nerve, and symptoms often appear over time. As the disease progresses, the affected person will often develop blind spots in their peripheral vision.
- Cataracts– This condition causes a progressive clouding of the lens inside the eye, which results in blurry vision, glare, and halos around lights.
Controlling What You Can
Although some conditions may seem difficult to handle, it is possible to protect your eyesight and make driving safer. Some of these things include:
- Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly– Going to your local GP or eye specialist every few months or when you think something might be wrong is a crucial step in maintaining proper eye protection.
- Invest in Quality Sunglasses– It’s essential to invest in quality eyewear, so you don’t further damage your eyes. It’s easy to find a top-rated online retailer for prescription glasses these days if that’s something you need.
- Practice Good Eye Health and Hygiene– Certain things that promote good eye health and hygiene include keeping your fingers away from your eyes, eating foods with vitamins that support eye health, and not reading in the dark.
- Practice Concentration and Stress Management– Stress not only distracts you while driving for work, but high blood pressure can lead to glaucoma and other conditions.
Eye Health Is Important
Your vision is one of the most important parts of you. It’s not something that should be taken for granted, and eye health should be a priority. Especially for those who drive for work, looking after your eyesight will help you drive safer.