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Aging Eyes and Night Vision: Navigating Darkness Safely

The eyes change considerably as we age. Around the early to mid-forties, many adults begin to experience signs and symptoms related to vision changes. Just like the rest of your body, the eyes change over time. Common age-related problems you may begin to experience include difficulty reading up close, changes in color perception, the need for more light, reduced tear production and trouble with night vision. Reduced night vision can worsen with age. Poor night vision is usually attributed to age but can also be brought on by other eye conditions such as cataracts, diabetes, nearsightedness and astigmatism.

When driving at night, sometimes too much or too little light can be a challenge. As eyes get older, the pupil decreases in size and loses its ability to dilate to the same degree it used to when younger. By the age of 60, the human eye requires three times more light to see than in your twenties. The cornea also clouds as the eye ages which causes light to scatter making the eyes more sensitive to glare from headlights, reflective road signs, and wet pavement.

There are steps you can take with aging eyes and night vision so that navigating darkness safely is possible. Talk with your ophthalmologist who can discuss your night vision issues and how you might overcome them. One option that may help improve night vision is glare-resistant glasses that combat light sensitivity and are also anti-reflective to keep vision sharp in the dark. In addition to special glasses at night, make sure you are choosing the right pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes during the day. Unfiltered sun exposure that fails to block UV rays may be one of the reasons your eyes are suffering at night. One of the simplest and most natural options to aid in night vision is to give your eyes time to adjust to low light or completely dark places. If you know in advance you will need to drive at night, plan to sit in a dark room for 10-20 minutes with your eyes open. Do not re-enter a brightly lit room but instead go outside when the time is up. This will help your eyes prepare for the changes to vision while night driving. Eating foods rich in Vitamin A support rhodopsin, a light-absorbing protein in the retina. Deficiency in vitamin A may be hindering your eye’s ability to make specific pigments necessary for the retina to work correctly. Try incorporating vitamin A rich foods to better see at night.

Protecting and strengthening your vision are the best methods for improving aging eyes, including how well you can see at night. Routine eye exams will ensure the health of your eyes and determine any treatments necessary to give you the best vision possible. Call Skyline Vision Clinic at 719-630-3937 or visit WEBSITE for details.