Eye Conditions And Driving
Driving When You Have Cataracts For people, driving represents freedom, control and competence. Driving enables people to get to the places they want to go and to see the people they want to see when they want. Driving is a complex skill.
Cataracts and driving October Some medical and eyesight conditions may affect the ability to drive safely. VicRoads Medical Review aims to support drivers to drive at any so long as they are medically fit to do so. Good eyesight is essential for driving.
Driving is a complex skill. Our ability to drive safely can be challenged by changes in our physical, emotional and mental condition. The goal of this brochure is to help you, your family and your health care professional talk about how cataracts may affect your ability to drive safely. How can having cataracts affect my driving? Having a cataract can make it harder for you to see the road, street signs, other cars, and people walking because a cataract clouds the eye’s lens. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care expert.
Even a small change in your eyeglass prescription can make a big difference in seeing at the long distances required with driving. Can I still drive with a cataract? If your doctor has told you that you have a cataract, there are certain things that you should know and do to remain a safe driver.
Every person’s cataract is different. You may be able to drive safely for many years if you have no other serious medical problems. This can make your vision dull and blurry. It may become difficult to see and to drive safely if you have a cataract.
Clean your car windshields both inside and outside often so vision is not reduced even further. You also should clean your automobile headlamps to provide as much light as possible for night driving. What can I do when cataracts affect my driving? Your eye care expert may recommend that you have cataract surgery depending upon the severity of your visual defect.
Before deciding on surgery, your doctor may refer you to a specialist who may go on a drive with you to see how well you drive with your cataract. The specialist also may offer training that is able to improve your driving skills.
Improving your skills could help keep you and others around you safe. To find a specialist near you, call the Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists at or go to their website at www. Additionally, you can call hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to find an occupational therapist who can help with the driving skills assessment. If you decide to have cataract surgery, your clouded lens will likely be replaced with a clear, artificial lens. What if I have to give up or cut back on driving?
You can keep your independence even if you have to give up or cut back on your driving. It may take planning ahead on your part, but it will get you to the places you want to go and the people you want to see. Consider: rides with family and friends; taxi cabs; shuttle buses or vans; and public buses, trains and subways. Also, senior centers, religious and other local service groups often offer transportation services for older adults in your community.
Who can I call for help with transportation? Call the ElderCare Locator at and ask for your local Office on Aging, or go to their website www. Your first step is to talk with your doctor and eye care expert.
Don’t forget: Always wear your safety belt when you are driving or riding in a car. Make sure that every person who is riding with you also is buckled up. Wear your safety belt even if your car has air bags.