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Eye problems when driving at night and during winter driving

How glare can impact your eyesight while driving

One of the main hindrances when driving at night can be glare and reflections from headlights, streetlights and even traffic. The danger arises when you cannot see because one part of the road is thrown into dark shadows while the rest is flooded in light. It causes your pupils to rapidly get smaller / constrict to adapt to the light, which is what produces the momentary night blindness from glare.


  • 12% of accidents on the road are due to a visual impairment

  • 85% of drivers complain of glare, especially when driving at night

  • 25% of the drivers do not wear their glasses while driving

This issue can be heightened during bad weather conditions, making it very difficult to see clearly especially during the winter months. Another consideration is low sun during the winter evenings. Even if you are not affected by glare or eye problems, other drivers around you might be sensitive to it, so always keep the chance of glare in your mind whilst driving — night or day. Keep your windscreen clear to reduce the light scatter to give clearer vision.

Glare can come from many sources including low sunlight in the winter, reflection of bright light on wet roads, oncoming headlights or reflections off windows.

Glare while driving at night

Our pupils at night are already dilated to cleverly adapt to low light. But this means our eyes have to work harder to constrict the pupils when faced with glare from oncoming headlights, street lighting etc. Also note that our ability to adapt to different light situations slows down with age.

If you think you are particularly prone to glare, mention this to your optometrist or eye doctor, as it might also be a sign of AMD/macular degeneration or Cataracts. Fortunately, if glare is impacting your ability to drive safely, then there are specific anti-glare driving lenses with anti-reflective coating and other lens treatments you can get for your glasses to help with lights at night.

Do anti-glare glasses help night driving?

If glare from light is making you struggle to see at night, then anti-glare coating will help you when driving. Previously, people would use yellow-tinted driving glasses to reduce glare to help them drive at night. We know now not to use tinted glasses at night as this can actually make your vision worse. While yellow tints might have helped increase contrast, they also made darker areas of the road even less visible.

What type of glasses are best for enhancing your vision at night?

Firstly, it is important that you have your eye test at least every two years so that your vision is corrected to the best it can be. Whether you are short-sighted, long-sighted or astigmatic, your glasses or contact lenses will have the correct prescription to maintain your vision and keep you safe on the road. Here are some of the lens and lens treatment options that we offer to enhance your vision:

Varifocal / Multifocal lenses

If you currently wear varifocals, or use two pairs of glasses for distance and for close up, then our multifocal drive lenses are a great option

Lens treatments

Single-vision or varifocal wearers may additionally benefit from an anti-reflection and scratch-resistant treatment.

Tinted or reaction lenses

If glare is an issue, we can prescribe lenses to help. Photochromic lenses, which react by automatically darkening when the light is bright, may be helpful. As will some tinted lenses. We will advise you of the best option for your lifestyle.

Polarised lenses

Polarised lenses are always a great for driving in daylight as they remove the glare from road surfaces. They also offer 100% UV protection from both summer and winter sun.

There is also a new lens on the market, the polarised photochromic lens, ask us for more information!

How can we help with your eye problems driving at night?

The most important thing to remember about eye problems driving at night, is to make sure that you are wearing corrective lenses, if you need them. If you are caught without them, you may risk a fine, points on your licence or even worse….

Vision problems can arise in anyone, at any time – it doesn't matter how young or old you are. Our goal is to help you get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. If you are ever worried about your eyes or your family’s eye health, feel free to come and talk to us about eye care or book an eye test.

Call 020 8759 9395 if you want to discuss eye problems driving at night or any of our other services. Alternatively, you can book an eye exam appointment online.

Find us at 742 Bath Road, Cranford, Hounslow, London, TW5 9TY. Street parking on The Avenue, High Street, Berkeley Avenue or Waye Avenue. Car parks available at the Ibis Budget London Heathrow Central (TW5 9SX) and DoubleTree Hilton by Hilton London Heathrow Airport (TW5 9QE). Please check for parking conditions.

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