Night Blindness

by Dee

Q: Still not able to figure out what to do about my night blindness.

I've read everything everywhere and I'm very disheartened. At dusk and during the dark while driving I am blinded by headlights. Doesn't matter whether they're coming at me, beside me, or behind. What can I do?

I'm 58 and do have astigmatism as well as suspect glaucoma, and now signs of cataracts. I have to work and drive. When the time changes in the fall it is torture to drive home after work. I don't have insurance or any savings.

I wear bifocals with the coating. Next month, January, I'm moving to Colorado. Now I'm concerned about the glare from snow on the roads.

Any suggestions?

A: Hello Dee,

The thing is that you have not one, but several problems. These problems are somehow connected, and all together are ruining your vision.

At this point, is not about what kind of glasses to wear but what to treat first. You are treating astigmatism; this is the first step. You talk about coatings; I think you talk about antireflective coating that is good, but not enough. Usually, it is, but because you have signs of cataract, it is more complicated that that.

The cataract means your lens from your eye is dirty, i.e., reflecting light in a bad way and is bothering you. You see all kind of reflections and the antireflecting coating is not enough. The main treatment ( the only real treatment ) is the cataract surgery, the replacing of the "dirty lens" with a new, clean one.

If you don't have the possibility to do this, I think a polarized lens would help you fighting the reflections.

The same with glaucoma, this illness slowly destroys the optic nerve resulting in poor vision starting on the periphery, with reflections and bothering lights. What advice I can give you is: treat glaucoma correctly, make the cataract surgery. The good news is that the new lens that will be implanted in your eye will compensate your astigmatism so you will not need any glasses for far vision.

If all this is not possible, you should try wearing a polarized lens eyeglass for driving and see if it helps.


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