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Vision and Driving

With Singapores hot sunny climate all year round, it is essential to wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from the harmful effect of UV rays. If you have prescription glasses, make sure that you wear them when driving and perhaps also consider getting a separate pair of prescription sunglasses. Check that your glasses are clean and scratch-free. Often, scratched and dirty glasses make glare worse especially during adverse driving conditions, such as rain or night driving. Anti-reflective multi-coatings can help to cut off glare, but newer generation lenses developed from wavefronttechnology are gaining popularity. These can help cut down distracting optical aberrations, such as haloes, especially at night. When wearing contact lenses, excessive oil in your tears and/or dryness can cause vision to become blurred occasionally. These issues, and many other conditions, can be remedied easily when you get your eyes checked regularly by your optometrist.

It is possible to consider contact lenses that corrects for astigmatism (shanguang in Chinese). See your optometrist once a year. If you wear contact lenses, you may have to see the optometrist more regularly. Besides checking that your prescription glasses and contact lenses are up-to-date, the optometrist often check for common medical eye conditions, such as eye inflammation, cataracts and glaucoma. Where required, specialised testing is available to evaluate your visual field or contrast sensitivity, and where necessary a referral to another specialist can be made. Drivers who are diabetic must take extra care with their eyesight and eye health. Always follow the doctors recommendation to keep blood sugar level under control.

Vision can fluctuate from time to time if blood sugar level is left unchecked. Even if you have already seen your GP for medication, it is important to get your eyes checked. Special care by the optometrist helps to reduce the risks of diabetic retinopathy which can progress to severe vision loss without warning.Presbyopia (lauhua in Chinese) may become an issue to drivers above the age of 40 years old. If this is so, remember to check with your optometrist so that you are offered the most optimal lens type to suit your driving and everyday needs. When driving, there is often a need to switch viewing between the dashboard, mirrors and the road. If you have trouble with any of those visual tasks, it can make driving unsafe for you and other road users.

It is time to step on the brakes to poor vision. Vision is one of the key aspect for driving safely. Ask your friends and your loved ones to get their eyes checked regularly as safety comes first.

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