Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurry vision. While corrective measures such as contact lenses and glasses are effective, many people with astigmatism still run into difficulties when performing certain tasks - driving at night being one of them.
To help you understand this link a little better, we’ll take a closer look at how astigmatism can impact your driving vision at night, and what you can do to improve it.
Signs and symptoms
In more developed cases, or without treatment, symptoms could also include:
- Having to squint to see clearly
- Eye strain or tiredness when focusing on prolonged tasks - like when you’re reading a book or a computer screen
Does astigmatism affect night driving?
Driving at night is difficult enough for those with perfect vision — but for people with astigmatism, it can be even more difficult. In low light conditions, the blurry vision associated with astigmatism can become worse. That’s because when the lighting dims, your pupil dilates to let in more light. As the pupil dilates, more peripheral light rays enter the eye, which can cause drivers to experience even more blurry vision, as well as halos around bright lights and even night blindness.
Furthermore, bright headlights from oncoming and rear traffic can become particularly distorted, creating what appears like ‘lines’ of light around the headlight. Light reflections from cars and street lamps can also cause drivers with astigmatism to squint, making it more difficult to concentrate on the road ahead.
Many people choose to wear contact lenses to correct astigmatism while driving as this eliminates extra light reflection. Mild astigmatism can be corrected by an ordinary gas-permeable lens while others with higher amounts of astigmatism might benefit from special 'toric' soft lenses to fit your eye shape.