Can You Drive If You Have Low Vision?

Low vision is a condition that affects millions of people in the United States. If you live in North Carolina and are concerned about whether low vision impacts your ability to drive, here’s what you need to know.

What’s low vision?

Low vision is the loss of sight that can’t be completely corrected with visual aids. If you have low vision, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe corrective lenses that can partially help the problem, but low vision cannot be completely fixed.

Can you drive if you have low vision?

If you have low vision, you may be wondering whether you’re allowed to drive. The answer is: it depends.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, you must be able to achieve “Visually impaired individuals may be eligible to receive a restricted driver license with the use of a bioptic telescope if they can achieve at least 20/200 visual acuity in one or both eyes through conventional eyeglass lenses (if needed) and at least 20/70 visual acuity in one or both eyes through a bioptic telescope.”

If you can meet the qualifications of NCDOT to drive, then you will be allowed to have a driver license. However, whether you’re comfortable enough to be on the road is another question. It’s important to work with your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC. Your eye doctor can help you maintain your vision for as long as possible, using a range of tools such as corrective lenses, medications and medical procedures.

Want to Maintain Healthy Eyes? See the Eye Doctor

One way to avoid vision problems that might prevent you from driving safely is to see the eye doctor at Paul Vision Institute for regular eye exams in Wilmington, NC. At Paul Vision Institute, we can monitor your visual acuity, diagnose eye problems as they occur and prescribe visual aids like prescription lenses that can help you maintain clear vision. If you’re concerned about your ability to see properly and drive safely, call today to make an appointment.


Common Causes of Low Vision

Low vision is a problem affecting millions of individuals worldwide. This condition is characterized by diminished eyesight that often can’t be mitigated by prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. Low vision may have a substantial negative influence on a person’s quality of life, making it harder for them to do daily duties and limit ability to engage in enjoyable activities. If you suspect you have low vision, contact your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC.

Factors That Contribute to Low Vision Problems

One of the most prevalent causes of low vision is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a disorder that damages the macula, the area of the retina responsible for crisp, center vision. The macula may get damaged as we age, resulting in impaired or distorted vision.

Glaucoma is another contributing factor of low vision in Wilmington, NC and other areas. Glaucoma may result in progressive vision loss, beginning with loss of peripheral vision and progressing to tunnel vision or total blindness. To avoid vision damage from glaucoma, get frequent eye examinations, particularly if you are over 40 or have a family history of the disease.

Cataracts are a prevalent cause of visual impairment. Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye, which may cause blurred or foggy vision. Cataracts may form with age, but they can also be caused by causes such as injury, exposure to UV light, and certain drugs. Wearing UV-rated sunglasses or a brimmed hat to shield your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, has been shown to minimize your chances of developing cataracts.

Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder that may cause low vision problems in people who have the underlying condition of diabetes. High blood sugar levels lead to diabetic retinopathy by damaging blood vessels in the retina, resulting in swelling, leakage and/or the formation of aberrant blood vessels. This can result in clouded or distorted vision, and in extreme instances, blindness. If you have diabetes, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding diet and exercise, and monitor blood sugar levels. It’s also smart to have more frequent eye examinations to check your eye health.

In addition to these common causes of low vision, other variables, such as eye traumas, infections, and inherited disorders, may also contribute to the onset of low vision.

Keeping Eyes Healthy

Among the most important things you can do to potentially avoid problems with low vision are:

  • Getting regular eye exams – By getting your eyes tested frequently, your eye doctor may spot issues early and start treatment earlier.
  • Keeping your eyes safe from harm – Use protective eyewear while indulging in sports or other activities that may result in eye harm.
  • Eating a nutritious diet – Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in saturated and trans fats, will help protect the health of your eyes.
  • Having a healthy lifestyle – Physical exercise, eliminating smoking, and controlling stress can all help to safeguard your eye health.
  • Using visual aids – If you already have low vision, there are several technologies and equipment available that may help you complete routine chores, keep your independence and prevent your low vision from becoming worse.

Low vision can have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life, but there are several steps you can take to safeguard your eye health and lower your chance of having low vision. The first thing is to book an appointment with an eye doctor in Wilmington, NC for a low vision screening.

3 Ways a Low Vision Optometrist Can Help with Sight Limitations

Low vision means you have a type of impaired vision that cannot be corrected with the typical actions like wearing corrective lenses or getting eye surgery. If you have been diagnosed with low vision, it is important to work with a low vision optometrist in Wilmington, NC. These professionals can work with you to ensure you continue to get the most use of the visual abilities you have. Take a look at some of what you can expect below.

Get the most accurate diagnosis

A functional vision exam is a comprehensive eye exam that assesses how your eyes and all the parts of them are functioning. Oftentimes, patients do not fully understand what is behind their low vision issues because they have not received an accurate diagnosis. The functional vision exam will ensure all parts of the eye are thoroughly assessed, which makes it easier to address the issues you are experiencing.

Find out about adaptive optical solutions

Adaptive optical solutions are an ever-growing area of optometry. Adaptive optics is a type of technology that may improve visual performance by interacting with systems within the eye. For example, a specially made screen may be used with your computer to change how light wavelengths are delivered, which makes the screen easier for you to see. During your visit to see a low-vision optometrist, the doctor will likely discuss adaptive optics that could help your situation.

Gain access to visual rehabilitation

In some cases, visual rehabilitation can improve low vision issues. Even though not every patient or every eye condition can be improved, certain ones can. A low-vision optometrist will look at the latest treatment methodologies and advise you on any possible treatments. They will look at low vision rehabilitation that could help you learn how to use your eyes to see better, for example.

Find Out More About Low Vision Care in Wilmington, NC

Even though having low vision issues can be life-changing there are ways a Wilmington, NC eye doctor can help. If you would like to set up an appointment to discuss low vision, reach out to us at Paul Vision Institute to schedule an appointment.