Droitwich Specsavers raising awareness of common eye condition affecting drivers - The Droitwich Standard

Droitwich Specsavers raising awareness of common eye condition affecting drivers

Droitwich Editorial 20th Nov, 2023   0

A STORE director at Droitwich Specsavers is helping raise awareness of a particular eye condition which can affect driving, as part of the Road Safety Week campaign.

This Road Safety Awareness Week (November 19-25), Specsavers is revealing the signs and symptoms of astigmatism, which can cause blurred or unfocused vision, and is sharing top tips on how to drive safely with the condition.

Astigmatism means the cornea (the front layer of your eye) or lens (the part of the eye responsible for focus) is shaped more like the pointed end of a rugby ball rather than a spherical football.

The condition affects 27 per cent of the UK population, while 66 per cent of those with the condition experience difficulties driving at night.

Jonathan Lee, store director at Specsavers stores in Droitwich said: “Astigmatism can present a range of symptoms including headaches, regularly having to squint to see clearly, eye strain or tiredness when focusing on prolonged tasks.

“If you have astigmatism, or think you might, it is important to get an up-to-date eye test every two years and always wear your glasses or contacts when driving.”

In low-light conditions, blurry vision associated with astigmatism can become worse because when the lighting dims, your pupil dilates to let in more light.

The more light that is let in, the more light that is scattered. This scattered light causes unfocused vision, as well as halos around bright lights and even night blindness.

Bright headlights from oncoming and rear traffic can become particularly distorted, creating ‘lines’ of light around the headlight.

Light reflections from cars and streetlamps can also cause drivers with astigmatism to squint, making it more difficult to concentrate on the road ahead.

The DVLA has issued a warning that failure to meet the minimum eye standards could result in being charged with a £1,000 fine and three penalty points, which is why it is so important to be aware if you have this condition.

Specsavers has shared it’s top tips for driving safely with astigmatism:

  1. Make sure you get your eyes tested at least once every two years so your prescription is up to date, and you can see as clearly when driving.
  2. Anti-reflection treatments like UltraClear SuperClean can help reduce reflections which can be distracting when driving at night.
  3. For varifocal wearers the SuperDrive lens is tailored for driving, featuring a 180-degree distance vision area and a wide upper intermediate area for road and wing mirror use, with minimum head movement.
  4. It can be beneficial to wear contact lenses to correct astigmatism while driving as this eliminates extra light reflection. Mild astigmatism can be corrected by an ordinary gas-permeable lens while others with higher amounts of astigmatism might benefit from special ‘toric’ soft lenses to fit your eye shape.


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