Do You Need Glasses for Night Driving?

You probably already know if you have a tough time driving at night, but what you might not know is the severity of your night blindness. The vision strain from driving at night can cause your current vision issues or eye problems to worsen. Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is caused by an issue with the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that allows you to see in low light. When the retina becomes damaged, dark pigment collects in the retina and creates tunnel-like vision. This can make seeing and especially driving in the dark difficult.

Here are three questions to ask as you consider whether or not you need glasses for night driving:

1) Do you experience blurred vision when driving at night? 

Do the headlights of oncoming traffic appear blurry, or you have difficulty seeing the street signs? This could be a result of a dirty windshield, but it might also be a sign of cataracts. You can reduce this blur by doing a few things:

     - Clean your windshields often, including the rear-view mirror and wiper blades.

     - Clean your headlights. This increases the amount of light being emitted by half.

     - Ask your eye doctor about anti-glare coatings for your glasses.

2) Do you experience eye fatigue when driving at night?

Driving at night forces the eyes to work much harder than in the day. There are plenty of reasons for this. For example, the pupil shrinks during the nighttime. This allows less light to enter the eye compared to the amount let in during the daytime. Another is while driving at night, your eyes are adjusting back and forth from light to dark. This can be caused by the shining of headlights from oncoming traffic and then having to adjust back to the dark roads. This is impossible to avoid, but there are some things you can do to reduce the strain and eye fatigue.

     - Avoid looking straight into headlights of oncoming traffic.

     - Don’t focus on one object for an extended period.

     - Give your eyes a break. Plan reoccurring stops especially during a road trip.

3) Do you constantly have “back seat drivers” advising you when night driving?

If you find that your friends are correcting your driving skills more than they used to when driving at night, it is probably time to consider scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor. Even the small adjustment of adding driving glasses to your car can fix and prevent vision damage.

If you are concerned about night blindness or wonder if you could benefit from wearing glasses when driving at night, schedule an appointment with a VSP eye doctor. If you don’t have vision insurance to help you save on your eye exam, consider the benefits of a VSP Individual Vision Plan. You can enroll in a new plan at almost any time and start using your vision insurance the same day.


Information received through VSP Vision Care's social media channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

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