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Blinded By The Lights

The nights are drawing in and winter is on its way. Around 75% of motorists report feeling stress when driving in the dark. This is because night vision is different from the ability to see in daylight.


car headlights shining on a man standing in a dark road

The loss of ‘colour’ messages reaching your eyes in twilight and nightfall stretches them to the limit of their capacity. The problem is amplified by the increased sensitivity to glare and light entering dilated pupils. As we get older, the inevitable start of cataracts impacts driving vision, reducing contrast, heightening even more so the difficulty driving at night. Our adaptation to the dark also slows with age.

The improved visibility of modern xenon and LED headlights comes with an increased light density and luminance. To most people, these headlights feel brighter and more blinding.

If you are bothered by glare from car headlights when driving, the good news is that there are now new advances in spectacle lens design to combat the challenges of driving and night driving.

Anti-reflective coating, is a special microscopically thin, multilayer coating that eliminates reflections from the front and back surface of spectacle lenses, thus reducing irritating glare and reflections from oncoming traffic and wet road surfaces. They provide better vision for driving at night and make your vision as comfortable and relaxed as possible. They also have the advantage of making your lenses appear near invisible so others can focus on your eyes not the distracting reflections from your glasses.

Another innovation is Caledonian Optical’s Drive lens which is available as both a High Definition:Single Vision lens and it’s Zone:Drive varifocal. They include a night vision zone for greater visual quality and less fatigue when driving at night. The varifocal design adds extra definition for distance vision and eliminates blurred edges in the periphery. The improved intermediate part of the varifocal version provides optimal vision for all the displays on your dashboard and sat nav too. The team at Banks Opticians, are on hand to answer your questions and let you know about your suitability for these lenses. So if you’d like to maximise your vision when driving and minimize visual stress and glare then these are the lenses that will do that for you.

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