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The Truth About Night Driving Glasses.

Woman driving car by night in the city

Many people of all ages have reduced vision in low light but especially older people. It is not unusual to need twice as much light at the age of 50 to see well than at the age of 30.

Night driving glasses are usually yellow tinted and do not necessarily need to be prescription. They often have an anti-reflective coating. Some night driving glasses are also polarized. These special glasses may or may not help you see better at night.

Conditions That Make Night Driving Difficult

Nyctalopia. This is also known as night blindness. With this condition, you’re not fully blind at night, but you may have a harder time seeing when there is less light. Nyctalopiais sometimes a sign of a different medical condition.

Myopia. Another name for this condition is nearsightedness. With this condition you have difficulty seeing things far away which results in having difficulty seeing at night. A variation of myopia is referred to as night myopia. This type of nearsightedness occurs only at night.

Glaucoma. Glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and can make it harder to see at night. Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve.

Cataracts. Cataracts cause the lens of your eye to be cloudy, making it harder to see. This condition affects your vision both during the day and at night.

Deficiency of Vitamin A. Lack of this important nutrient can cause blindness. Foods that are high in vitamin A include...

  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Eggs

In its early stages of vitamin A deficiency, you might notice that you have difficulty seeing at night and in low light. If your doctor diagnoses this deficiency soon enough, your symptoms can be reversed.

Retinitis Pigmentosa. This genetic disorder is rare. It reduces night vision and peripheral vision because it causes the cells in the retina to degrade. These cells are sensitive to light and help you to see at night.

Can Night Driving Glasses Help?

Some experts believe that night driving glasses may hinder your ability to see at night while driving. The yellow lenses actually make less light reach your eye, making it harder to see. They are  better for helping you see during the day because hey filter out blue light, creating greater contrast in daylight conditions. These glasses were originally created for hunters. They allow hunters to see birds against the sky more easily during the day. One study from 2019 showed that people wearing night driving glasses had a harder time seeing pedestrians in their path than people who were not wearing night driving glasses. Those wearing the night driving glasses sometimes took up to 1.5 seconds longer to see pedestrians while driving.

How to See Better at Night

Although night driving glasses may actually hinder your ability to see in low-light conditions, there are several things you can do to see better at night, including:

  • Clean your windshield.
  • Clean your headlights.
  • Maintain your windshield wipers.
  • Clean your glasses.
  • Dim the dashboard lights.
  • Visit your eye doctor often. Keep your glasses or contacts prescription up-to-date,
  • Use an anti-reflective coating on your glasses. The coating reduces glare from lights at night.