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  • Prairie Eye Care

Night Time Driving Lenses: How To Tell When You Need Them

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Driving on the road brings a set of vision-related challenges. But at night-time, these challenges become much more difficult. If your eyesight isn’t in top shape, you need an eye exam to improve your vision and keep you and everyone around you safe while on the road.

Here are 7 signs you may need driving lenses at night.

Blurred or Fuzzy Vision

Are oncoming cars and street signs a bit blurry or fuzzy? Here’s a simple test: if you can’t read a stop sign or tell a friend from 10 feet away, then you likely need nighttime driving glasses or contact lenses.

If things are only blurry up close or only from far away you may be developing nearsightedness or farsightedness. If both near and far objects are blurry, it may be astigmatism. It’s always best to see your optometrist and get an eye exam.

Driving with blurred vision is very dangerous and can result in taking up to twice as long to brake.

Eye Fatigue

Even if you have perfect vision, your eyes have to work harder at night to make sense of the world and see things clearly. This is because at nighttime your pupils shrink, and also have to adjust between extreme light and dark constantly.

This can cause what’s known as eye fatigue, which is more pronounced if you don’t have 20/20 vision. Eye fatigue can result in blurry vision which is quite dangerous when driving at night. Try to take regular breaks and avoid looking directly at oncoming car lights. Staying hydrated is another helpful tip to help reduce eye strain.

Experiencing Backseat Drivers

Do your friends and family continually correct your driving skills at nighttime more than they used to? This could be an indication that your vision needs improvement with a new pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Even small adjustments to your current prescription, or getting a very light pair of glasses only for nighttime can make a huge difference for your vision.

Struggle Seeing At A Distance

If you’re having trouble seeing things from a distance, driving at night can be particularly dangerous. Most of the things we look at while driving are at a fairly far distance, and if you can’t make out what things are early enough, it can add a huge impact on your ability to brake, swerve, or adjust your car in time.

Double Vision

Double vision isn’t just reserved for those who have had too much to drink. Double vision can indicate there may be issues with your cornea and eye muscles. This can be problematic when driving and increase your risk of accidents. Having the right prescription will eliminate double vision and increase your safety on the road.


If you find yourself squinting often while driving at night, this is a good indication you need to improve your vision. Whether you need an upgrade to your prescription glasses or contact lenses or purchasing your first pair, squinting at night reduces your field of vision and endangers you and everyone around you on the road.


Experiencing headaches when driving at night is related to eye strain and fatigue. When you struggle to focus, your eye muscles work overtime to try to compensate. This leads to eye strain which can result in headaches.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues while driving at night, or at any time for that matter, the first thing you should do is get a comprehensive eye exam by a trusted optometrist. Safety while on the road is always a top priority, and trouble seeing while driving puts everyone at risk.

It’s essential to see an eye doctor who can assess and document changes to your vision and recommend the appropriate solution to improve your vision and safety on the road.

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