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NIGHT VISION

Older individuals may find they are experiencing increasing difficulty seeing at night while driving and even in their own homes. Fading night vision is a result of less light reaching the retina (the light-sensing area of the eye), due largely to shrinking pupils in aging eyes. The eye lens, which is normally clear, also undergoes age-related changes that hinder transmission of light to the back of the eye. As a result, a 60-year-old’s eyes only receive about 40% as much available light as the eyes of a 20-year-old. To counter this effect while driving, it may help to wear glasses with yellow-tinted lenses and an anti-glare coating to help with both contrast and depth perception. The inability to see in the dark may also be a sign of cataracts, which can be diagnosed with an eye exam. Seeing well at night is particularly important for drivers.  Although our ability to see light diminishes as we age, today’s eyewear can help.