According to Mayo Clinic “Cataract Surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Normally, the lens of your eye is clear. A cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually affects your vision.” After a certain age, cataract surgery is quite common. Sun exposure over time leads to an opaque lens that affects your vision. However, even after surgery, many people continue to struggle with driving and especially driving at night.
Many ophthalmologists believe that sun protection is a factor even before cataracts develop, and certainly afterwards. After surgery, protective glasses are given to patients to protect sensitive eyes from glare. And the use of polarized sunglasses can prove very beneficial to those patients, long afterwards. Most patients with cataract surgery are able to start driving again after 24 hours or so but every case is different. Usually your doctor can give you the clear sign and discuss potential issues with you.
The best thing you can do is wear protection when outside with the use of polarized sunglasses, a hat or visor in order to keep some of the harmful sun out of your eyes. Another issue that arises is driving at night. This is especially an issue that gets greater with age and many seniors tend to stay indoors once it starts to get dark outside. The headlights now are extremely bright and the newer halogen headlights are very problematic for patients with sensitive eyes. The big problem with these headlights is that it is a different type of light that hits your eyes than the sunlight glare during the day. Headlight lights do not have a specific orientation which makes it very difficult to filter out.
There are some pointers you can take in order to improve your driving after cataract surgery.
- Keep a farther distance from the cars in front of you
- Keep a special eye on the white lines and don’t let your eyes get attracted to the headlights
- Stay attentive
- Use polarized sunglasses during the day
- Wear a hat or visor to shade the sun from your eyes
- Try a polarized night driving visor or glasses to help with headlight glare at night.