I Can See Clearly Now…
That’s it folks, summer is over for another year. Wasn’t it a nice couple of weeks?
The nights are drawing in, the leaves are bursting with glorious colour and there’s that tantalising smokiness wafting in the night air.
Halloween is just around the corner too, time to carve a pumpkin or three and dig out my pointy witch’s hat.
Can you tell that I love autumn?
In amongst the general autumnal chatter there is one topic that is guaranteed to divide the nation.
The clocks going back.
Granted, we get an extra precious hour’s sleep but on the down side, the darkness will draw in earlier.
Not everyone likes dark nights. It’s delightful when we’re snuggled up indoors, with the fire blazing and the television on, but spare a thought for those who hate driving at night. Some despise it to the extent that they refuse to travel at night and miss out on opportunities to socialise. And night workers who have no alternative but to drive to work are particularly disadvantaged.
There are numerous reasons, particularly for older people and those with vision problems:
- Glare from oncoming headlights
- Difficulty seeing line markings
- Similarly, difficulty seeing road signs
- Streetlights appearing to look ‘smeared’
Additionally, our obsession with romantic, soft lighting can play havoc with our eyesight. Reading small print in dim light can over work the eyes, which leads to eye strain. Our eyes are muscles and like any muscle, will grow tired if placed under pressure. The blue light glare that emanates from our multiple devices produces a similarly tiring effect on our eyes. How many of use are guilty of staring at our phones before we bed down for the night?
Now, I’m not for a minute suggesting that you burn your phones or replace your lamps with overhead strip lighting but there are ways to minimise eye strain.
Solutions for reading
- Invest in a reading lamp. It will focus a beam of light onto your page/device whilst not blinding your nearest and dearest.
- Blink. A lot. This is exercise for your eyes and will prevent that horrible dry feeling you get when engrossed in a good saga.
- Build muscle by making a figure-eight with your eyeballs. Best to do this with your eyes closed if you’re in company.
- Give your eyes some relief and take regular breaks. Make a cup of tea. Make everyone a cup of tea.
- Buy and install overhead strip lighting (only kidding)
Solutions for night driving
- The number one piece of advice is always going to be booking regular eye tests! This is especially important for people with progressive eye conditions and diabetes.
- Make sure your windscreen is as clean as possible and wipe away those pesky insect carcasses. This will lessen that infuriating smear effect.
- Never drive when tired, if you can help it.
- Keep plenty of space between you and the car in front.
- Plan your journey and give yourself appropriate time to drive a little more slowly and safely.
- Your optician can advise on specific glasses with anti-reflective coatings that will cut out glare.
We are a welcoming bunch at Your Eyes Optician, so if you have any questions about night time driving and reading call in and we’ll see you right!