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I have a difficult time seeing road signs when driving at night.

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Question: I have a difficult time seeing road signs when driving at night. Can I fix this?

Answer: Road signs and hazards are hard to spot at night in general but if you feel like you are having additional trouble then a visit to your Optometrist is recommended. Many mild symptoms people notice during the day are much more pronounced during the night, or when its raining. Usually things are made worse because light is limited, and your pupil is larger than during the day, exacerbating any small issue to begin with. There are multiple underlying causes that can range from an uncorrected prescription to something like cataracts. Finding out the cause of worsened vision is the first step to fixing it.

One of the most common causes for poor vision is an uncorrected prescription. Commonly this is from near-sightedness (myopia) or astigmatism. Both of these will cause overall blur, making signs harder to see, as well as halos which worsen oncoming headlights. Astigmatism in particular will cause starbursts and streaks around lights. Luckily, this is easily fixed with a pair of glasses. There are even specific lens designs for driving or night driving! If the cause of the difficulties is another condition your optometrist will treat it based on the cause, or refer you if surgery is required.

Night driving is a fact of living in Canada, much as driving in the rain is a fact of living in Victoria. Luckily, there are ways to lessen the visual burden, so you can enjoy the season!

Written by Mayfair Optometric Clinic

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