Eye Problems While Driving at Night: Some Common Causes

Eye Problems While Driving at Night: Some Common Causes

Eye Problems can show up even more While Driving at Night, here we discuss Some Common Causes:

Driving at night can be risky business. Add less than perfect eyesight to the mix, and it becomes even more difficult and twice as dangerous. 

While everybody struggles to see objects on the road in the dark, anyone suffering from eye problems should have it treated right away to prevent accidents from happening on the road. There is a range of eyesight concerns that plague people today, especially during night driving, but such conditions vary from person to person. 

If you’ve ever wondered why your vision is especially terrible at night but can’t seem to figure out exactly why this is, here are some common causes and how to remedy them:

Flashes and Floaters

Floaters are characterised by squiggly lines, rings, or dark shadows that seem to travel across and around your field of vision. While not necessarily painful or the cause of blurry eyesight, they can be too distracting. They’re most easily seen during the daytime, but staring in one direction for a long time can prompt them to come out. This is often the case when it comes to night driving, where floaters are easily seen, especially on long highways with lights from incoming traffic. 

Flashes are equally irritating and incredibly distracting when you’re on the road at night. This can be especially dangerous as it can mimic the headlights of a car approaching from behind you and influence your movement on the road. 

This is usually caused by the vitreous (liquid in your eyes) changing shape or a retinal tear, which needs urgent attention. Holes or tears can generally be treated by laser if caught early on rather than having full-blown eye surgery. 


The opposite of myopia is hyperopia—the inability of people to see objects up close. This is incredibly risky, as you need to see your dashboard, centre console, and other smaller features in your car that help you navigate. Not knowing your speed or if your lights are working correctly is extremely dangerous to you and others on the road. Seeing an optometrist will ensure that you have the proper glasses to correct your eyesight. 

myopia vs hyperopia

Dry and gritty eyes

Constantly having to scratch your eyes while driving and frequently blinking to relieve yourself of that dry feeling in your eyelids could be an accident waiting to happen. The condition that is known as blepharitis—or having sore, itchy eyelids—is often connected to dry eye symptoms. The tear glands in your eyes may be producing an insufficient layer of film that causes your eyes to feel dry and gritty. In worse cases, bacterial infections or small mites can cause dry, crusty eyes. 

This causes difficulty seeing while on the road because of the body’s reaction to relieve the dryness. Unfortunately, the more you blink to moisten your eyes, the drier they’ll get. Scratching means taking hands off the wheel and a momentary loss of vision as you close one eye. 

dirty car windscreen affecting vision for driving
dirty car windscreen affecting vision for driving


Myopia, or shortsightedness, should be corrected right away to ensure safety while driving at night. This condition makes it difficult to see objects that are some distance away, such as important road signs, other cars, barriers, and pedestrians. With limited visibility in the dark, it’s even more difficult for short-sighted people to see what’s up ahead. 

How clean is your windscreen

We are all used to cleaning the outside of the windscreen, especially after a rainy or bug infested summer day. However the inside of the windscreen tends to get far less attention. The various plastics in the car are continually shedding minor vapours and these can adhere to the inside of the windscreen causing further glare.



A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye. As you age, proteins in your lens begin to break down and the lens becomes cloudy. Some people don’t even realise they have a cataract because it usually develops very slowly and may not impede vision early on. A cataract produces glare whilst driving, especially when driving in the dark. In fact the glare from catract is very similar to driving around with a dirty windscreen.


Treating poor eye conditions will not only be more convenient for you during the daytime, but it will also ensure your safety at night. Driving at night has its risks, no matter how safe of a driver you are. The most responsible course of action, especially for those with poor eyesight, would be to get their vision treated. That way they’ll see clearly and comfortably as well as guarantee their safety and the safety of others. 

Those who are frequently on the road should be taking steps to ensure their eyesight is just right. We at Simon Kleyn Opticians provide family eye care and a wide range of optical services to care for the needs of the community in Earls Colne near Colchester and Frinton-on-Sea. If you are suffering from dry or gritty eyes, eye floaters, blurry eyesight, and other vision impairments, call us today.

Simon Kleyn Opticians
Optometrist In Frinton On Sea & Earls Colne
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Skopticians Earls Colne