Having astigmatism means you have to take special care to ensure your eyes are protected and you can see clearly in any situation. When driving at night, your condition makes it especially hard to see, which can make conditions hazardous.
If you’ve been diagnosed with astigmatism, we’ll help give you some solutions that will allow you to see better at night and get back to serious road safety.
First, let’s get a better understanding of what astigmatism is and how it affects your vision.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition that affects the cornea and lens of your eyes. Normally, the cornea and lens are round in shape, like a tennis ball. With astigmatism, the cornea and lens are curved, kind of like a football. This curvature affects the way the eye gathers and processes light.
With normal vision, light is collected by the cornea and directed to the retina, where an image is produced. Because of the round shape of the cornea, it’s very easy for light to be collected and pass through to the retina.
With astigmatism, the light that hits the cornea is scattered because of the shape of the cornea. This causes the image that the retina creates to have a glare or a halo around it, which makes it difficult to focus and hard to see.
What Causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is thought to be hereditary. If one of your parents has astigmatism, you’ll be more likely to be born with it or to develop it as you get older. Many people suffer from astigmatism. In fact, one out of every three people has some varying degree of astigmatism—so you’re in good company!
Symptoms of Astigmatism
The number of symptoms you experience from astigmatism will vary depending on how curved the cornea and lens of your eye are and how long you have had astigmatism. People who have had astigmatism for many years may not notice as many symptoms as a person who develops it over time.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of astigmatism.
- Blurry and/or distorted vision
- Eye strain and/or discomfort
- Squinting to see
- Trouble with nighttime vision
People with astigmatism have greater difficulty seeing at night.
Night Driving With Astigmatism
Nighttime vision is particularly difficult for people with astigmatism. With normal vision, the eye dilates at night to allow more light in. This allows the cornea to receive more light so that the retina can create a better visual picture.
Unfortunately, if you have astigmatism, allowing more light inside the cornea actually causes your vision to suffer more. The more light that is allowed into the cornea, the more light that is scattered. This scattered light causes vision to become even difficult for the retina to process.
People with astigmatism tend to suffer most while attempting to drive at night. Traffic lights and other illuminated signs can make it very difficult for them to focus light properly and drive safely (hello, irony).
Thankfully, there are options for vision correction to help people with astigmatism.
Solutions for Driving at Night With Astigmatism
You don’t have to suffer by squinting, closing one eye, or just toughing it out while you drive with astigmatism. There are solutions that help you get better vision at night so you can still consider that long-haul trucking job.
One of the easiest and least invasive ways to correct your astigmatism is through the use of corrective lenses. Corrective lenses help change the way your eyes collect light, reducing blurriness, glare, and halos that may appear because of your condition.
You’ll need to see your eye doctor to get corrective lenses. Your provider will perform an eye exam and write you a prescription for lenses. That prescription can be fitted to practically any frame you choose.
Alternatively, you can choose to wear contact lenses. Contact lenses are placed over the surface of your eye and provide vision enhancement through the same type of specific prescription available with eyeglasses.
This type of therapy involves the use of specialized contact lenses that you wear overnight. These lenses are designed to reshape the cornea overnight so that you can see clearly the following day.
If worn consistently, these lenses can correct and even eliminate astigmatism over time.
For a permanent solution, surgery is an option. There are four different types of astigmatism surgery available. Depending on the severity of your astigmatism and other health factors, one method may be a better option for you than another.
The best way to determine which surgical option will work best is to have an eye exam and discuss each method of correction with your eye care specialist.
Specialized Glasses for Astigmatism
When you have vision issues like astigmatism, it can seem like you need a different pair of glasses for every activity. A pair for reading, one for daytime, a special pair to block blue light while at your computer, and of course, a pair for nighttime driving. We love a mid-day fashion change, but this is just getting excessive.
What if you want to do some yard work or have a job that requires the use of personal protective equipment? Are people with astigmatism limited to wearing safety glasses over their prescription glasses? The answer is: absolutely not.
Safety Glasses for Astigmatism
Whether you are working in an industry that requires safety glasses or just working on a project around the house that involves debris, safety glasses shouldn’t be optional.
Just because you have astigmatism doesn’t mean you’re limited to buying cheap safety glasses at a home store and trying to shove them over your regular glasses. Protecting your eyes while you work helps you avoid injury and ensures you can actually see what you’re doing.
If you have astigmatism, you’ll need to make sure your safety glasses have the following features:
- High-quality, prescription lenses. Even if you wear contacts for your astigmatism, when you are working in an environment that requires PPE, prescription safety lenses can be a better option. If you were to get debris in your eye while your contact is in place, you could cause a worsened eye injury and/or damage your contact lens.
- Anti-fog lenses. Nothing is more frustrating than having your safety glasses fog, either from your own breath or sweat or from the outside air temperature. Fog-free lenses can make it easy to work in any condition without having to take your glasses off to clean them.
- Blue light protection. Blue light protection helps keep your eyes strong when you are in front of a screen. Blue light refracting lenses help protect your eyes against blue light rays, which can help you avoid eye fatigue and headaches.
Safety glasses designed with these features could literally be worn for any task. If only they didn’t look like safety glasses.
The Stoggles Difference
Stoggles are the only safety glasses designed to be safe and stylish. In fact, our users agree; you can wear these safety goggles anywhere. For someone with astigmatism, wearing prescription safety glasses can eliminate the need to switch between pairs before you get in your car at night.
Road Trip Tip
Driving at night with astigmatism can be dangerous if you don’t have specialized corrected lenses to help your eyes adjust to light properly. Instead of switching between numerous different pairs of glasses, opt for a pair that you can wear anytime and for anything.
Stoggles offer superior protection that is comfortable and stylish enough for any occasion.