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How glaucoma can change your driving

12 August 2016

Concerns about driving often come up with glaucoma and may be brought to the doctor’s attention by the patient or a family member. Common complaints include glare, poor night vision and decreased contrast sensitivity.

Ideally, the patient will recognize problems with driving and limit themselves. Poor night vision is the most common reason people restrict their driving. Glaucoma usually occurs in the same age group as cataracts, thus both can affect the vision.

To have an unrestricted driver’s license, the Department of Motor Vehicles requires visual acuity of at least 20/40 and a horizontal field of vision with both eyes open of at least 120 degrees. A special visual field test performed with both eyes open is required to assess the driving field of vision.

To have the best driving vision, it is important to keep your eyeglass prescription up to date in order to have the sharpest vision possible. Anti-reflective coatings and amber tinted lenses can help decrease glare and improve contrast with both day and night vision. Driver training courses are available at many rehabilitation centres that can teach the driver techniques to improve their skills.

The fear of losing one’s driver’s license and independence may be scary, but safety is the most important goal.


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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists

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