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Fatal car accidents are three times more likely at night. The biggest reason is that people have difficulty seeing well, especially if they suffer from macular degeneration or another retinal disorder. You will want to find out if you have any vision problems and have them treated. This will greatly reduce your likelihood of being in a car accident.

What Vision Problems Affect Nighttime Driving?

A number of retinal disorders can affect your ability to drive safely late at night. Here are some that you will need to be aware of. There are many other problems, so be sure to speak with your doctor if you have difficulty seeing while driving late at night.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a buildup of debris over an extended period of time. This debris can cause blurry vision if it isn’t removed with surgery. One of the first symptoms of a cataract is impaired night vision.

You will want to have your cataract removed as soon as possible.  Several studies have shown that cataract surgery significantly improves driving abilities. The benefit is most noticeable at nighttime.

Macular Degeneration

The macula is the rear part of the eye that allows us to make out fine details. You can suffer serious vision problems if the macula starts to break down. You will first notice problems with your central vision, but they can progress to your peripheral vision if it isn’t treated.

It is even more difficult to distinguish details late at night, so macular degeneration is a leading cause of nighttime car accidents. Some forms of macular degeneration cannot be easily treated, but others can be addressed with Lucentis and other medication. You will want to see a ophthalmologist to help diagnose and treat macular degeneration.

Sunlight Exposure

Extended exposure to bright sunlight can lead to temporary vision problems. You may have difficulty seeing for up to two days after you are exposed to bright sunlight. The problems are most noticeable at night, after there is the greatest contrast to sunlight exposure. You will want to wear sunglasses whenever going out into bright sunlight to reduce this risk. Wearing sunglasses the following day can help you recover more quickly.

Deal With Eye Problems in a Timely Manner

You will want to be aware of any retinal disorders that could negatively impact your vision. These issues tend to cause the most problems late at night, which is one of the reasons nighttime car accidents are so prevalent. You should ask your doctor to refer you to an ophthalmologist to help treat these vision problems.

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