Vision

I have suffered from poor eyesight since childhood.  At the age of seven I had to wear those hideously ugly round, flesh pink NHS specs for my short-sightedness, graduating to equally unattractive "Dame Edna" blue plastic, winged frames in my teenage years.

In my twenties I was able to change to contact lenses for a  time  although eventually these became uncomfortable and I started to experience irritation and blurriness.

In 1991 I took the plunge and underwent a surgical procedure called radial keratotomy to correct my short sight.  This was successful in giving me near perfect vision, although leaving me with permanent scarring of the cornea.

Eventually, as I reached my fifties, my eyesight began to change and I became long sighted which meant I had to wear glasses again.  Three different prescriptions - one each for reading, driving and computer work.

When I retired I had cataract surgery which has thankfully given me back near normal eyesight but I now find that a combination of the artificial lenses plus the corneal scars means that I suffer from extremely poor night vision.

Last night we visited friends for a birthday meal.  I offered to drive the 40 minutes each way so that P could enjoy a glass or two of wine.  

I haven't driven at night for quite some time so was horrified to discover on the way there in the dark that each time  vehicles approached from the opposite direction I was totally blinded. On a couple of occasions I had to slow to a standstill until they had passed.  Once we finally reached our friends' house P said he would happily forego his wine in order to drive us home safely.

It is quite a shock to discover that something I had taken for granted is now lost.  No more night driving for me.




35 comments:

  1. I am sorry. I've known many people who are unable to drive at night for various reasons, and it does complicate things. I was in pink, round, National Health specs aged 4, to correct a lazy eye. I remember that when I was told, a few years later, that I could stop wearing them, I took them outside and stamped on them!

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  2. Sorry for your eye trouble! Good thing you realized when you had P available to drive you home. Check with your eye doctor maybe?

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    1. There is not much that can be done as far as I am aware. I have glasses for daytime driving but I don't think there is anything to help with the dazzle and glare at night.

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  3. I sympathise with you even though I have reached the grand old age of sixty eight without wearing any glasses of any sort apart from sunglasses. I know that I have been most fortunate.

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  4. I don't like driving at night now. The new LED lights on other cars seem too bright to me.

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    1. Me too Tasker. Don't know why they are allowed.

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    2. Even the bright halo reflections on the street signs were dazzling.

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  5. Quite scary for you both - sensible solution.

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  6. I avoid night driving too. Its not so bad near home in the town with the street lights but out in the countryside, its terrifying.

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    1. Exactly. When we set off it was fine due to the street lighting. As soon as we left the town I realised just how bad it was.

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  7. Sorry to hear this and well done to your husband for not having a drink so he could drive back. I don't enjoy night driving, but generally only have to do it when we are up very early to go to an Antiques Fair a couple of hours distant, and see little traffic at that time of the morning. HATED driving back home from Hereford last week as it was non-stop traffic against me all the way and the glare was terrible.

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  8. Do you have Uber or Lyft where you live? Might be a good solution when P wants wine.

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    1. No such thing on our little island. Just incredibly expensive local taxis.

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  9. There's a lot to be said for living in a village with street lighting. Taxis are very scarce and expensive where I live in rural Ireland. I often hear of rural dwellers moving into town because they can't get about or have a social life and enjoy a few drinks.

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    1. Yes, one of the reasons we decided to move was the convenience of being close to all the amenities without having to drive everywhere. It is all the more important to me now that I realise that I am hampered in this way.

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  10. Oh weren't glasses just ghastly way back when. I can just imagine your Dame Edna showstoppers .I had the equivalent in plain black. Not good for teenage confidence.
    I hate driving at night too. Car lights are blinding though we only have a small distance to go thank goodness. I'd rather be dazzled than let a happy hubby get behind the wheel

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    1. If the distance had been shorter I would have persevered but a 40 minute drive clutching the steering wheel in terror was not good. My performance on the way there was enough to persuade P to drink water all evening.

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  11. I find night driving difficult too - evidently, as we age our low light receptors deteriorate. Losing the sharpness of my vision is one of the few aspects of getting older that I dislike.

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  12. I'm with you on the night driving. It seems that lights on vehicles are completely unregulated these days. The brightness of LEDs on some brands of vehicles in the US is absolutely blinding to opposing drivers. And we have some folks who insist on permanently leaving their fog lights Living on, as well, regardless of weather. The winding, hilly country roads makes night driving in my neck of the woods a hazard between the wildlife (e.g. deer, raccoons, possums, foxes crossing the roads) and the wild lights.

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    1. That does sound bad. I would stay at home!

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    1. I bet you wouldn't have laughed if you were sitting in the passenger seat, Rachel. Eyes shut and a silent scream....

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  14. I noticed that the last time that I drove to my son and daughter-in-laws, that I was seeing rainbows around the headlights. And some of those newfangled headlights are a real problem for me

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  15. I have friends who have a home nearby to us in France, who both have very poor eyesight. They come from Barbados, so need to hire a car for their annual visits. We really worry about them, as bumps often appear on their hire-cars. I now keep a special pair of 'driving glasses' in the car; they simply make everything crisper.

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    1. My driving glasses are good for driving during the day but are no help in the dark.

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  16. One thing you might consider is to have a tint added to your prescription driving glasses. A 10-30% tint (lighter than sunglasses, but the same idea) can provide a bit of ease against the glare of bright lights. I forgot to do that the last time I got driving glasses. Even if you don't drive and are just a passenger...

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion Mary. Something to consider.

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