08 Oct Vision for an aging state
headlights at nightIf you haven’t heard it enough, Maine has the oldest median age in the nation (43 years old) which means we have more physical challenges in our working and everyday lives. Not least among those challenges is driver safety and being mindful of the sense on which we rely most – vision.
According to Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), there are six vision issues that can affect our ability to drive safely.
1) Good distance vision is required to spot hazards ahead and read directional signs. If we can’t see traffic stopped ahead or are late in seeing the sign for your destination, everyone around us is going to be surprised by a sudden reaction.
2) Healthy peripheral vision allows us to see activity on the right and left without taking our eyes off the road ahead. Children playing at the curb, animals dashing into the road or pedestrians out for a walk benefit from our ability to see.
3) The quality of our near-vision focusing allows us to adjust from our dashboard to the road ahead. A problem with re-focusing limits reaction time.
4) Cataracts are one of the leading causes of poor night vision. Glare from headlights is compounded if cataracts are present. That blinds us to the road ahead.
5) Distinguishing between colors also is a challenge in reading traffic lights, warning signs and directions.
6) Disturbance of our binocular vision impacts our depth perception. Stopping, parking and keeping your distance from vehicles in traffic are compromised if binocular vision is not corrected.
Here are a few other facts. According to NETS:
- More than 50% of those who fail a driving vision exam are unaware that they have a vision problem
- For 25% of Americans, it has been more than two years since their last eye exam
- We all start losing our near-vision beginning with our 40s
- By age 60, we need three times more light to see as well as we did when we were 20
The good news is that our vision can be corrected in most instances if we are disciplined at getting regular eye exams. Issues with our eyesight can be identified with adequate lead time when the doctor gets a look at our optic nerve, lenses and eye pressure.
We only get two eyes when we arrive in this world and our safety and the safety of others depends on keeping our eyes being healthy. Make an appointment today and enjoy the drive ahead.