Common Vision Changes That Can Affect Night Driving


Vision & night driving Wilmington, NCDriving, particularly at night or in low light conditions, requires excellent visual function. You need not only good visual acuity and a wide visual field, but also color vision to identify brake lights and traffic signs, not to mention contrast sensitivity to detect pedestrians and objects like traffic lights.

But when your vision declines, it can become difficult — and dangerous — to drive. You put yourself, other motorists and pedestrians at risk when you do not feel completely confident in your vision.

If your night vision is making it tough for you to read street signs or see the lines of the road, the team at Intracoastal Eye can help. Read on as we discuss the common reasons why people lose their quality of vision at night.

Nearsightedness, Farsightedness or Astigmatism

The most common cause of difficulty with night vision is simply not having the right pair of glasses. In many cases, a simple prescription change is all it takes to make night driving tolerable and safe. Modern no-glare lens technology can also help reduce nighttime symptoms to an absolute minimum.


Cataracts, which are characterized by clouding of the eye’s natural lens, are a common cause of vision problems that affect night driving. Cataracts may cause glare from the headlights of an oncoming car or streetlights, or other visual distortions such as halos (rings around lights) or starbursts (single points of light that fan out in multiple directions). They can cause colors to fade, or vision to become dim, blurry or hazy.


Glaucoma is another eye disease that can make it difficult to see clearly at night. In many cases, glaucoma is caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye. This increased pressure can damage the optic nerve, or the nerve that transmits information from the eye to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause peripheral vision loss that makes driving difficult.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, which is a breakdown of the eye’s macula, has also been implicated in decreased night vision that impedes safe driving. Because of the disease, blurry or blind spots may appear in central vision, or it may become difficult to see details clearly at a short distance. Macular degeneration can also cause straight lines to appear wavy or crooked.

How Intracoastal Eye Can Help

Intracoastal Eye is committed to offering exceptional care to help improve your night vision so you can drive safely and confidently. Whether it’s by adjusting your glasses prescription, treating dry eye (another common cause of night vision problems), suggesting new lenses for your glasses or recommending cataract surgery, we will work one-on-one with you to find a reasonable solution.

To speak with a member of our team, please contact Intracoastal Eye by phone or email and request an appointment at our office.