Can You Get Glasses Without a Prescription?

The short answer is, yes.

Perhaps you don’t have a current eyeglass prescription and would like to buy new eyeglasses or sunglasses online. The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker enables you to obtain the numbers you need to buy those new specs without leaving the house. First, you can compare results with your last prescription to see if it is accurate or if your vision has changed. Second, you can test your vision multiple times to ensure the results are consistent. The test results are cumulative so the more often you take the test, the more accurate your results will be.

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By testing your vision at home, you can proactively monitor refractive changes over time and automatically save and retrieve them in the EyeQue Cloud. If you notice significant changes, it’s important to make an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. An optometrist or ophthalmologist will check for potential eye diseases that may be contributing to major refractive changes.

EyeQue Numbers and PD Measurement

Before you start browsing online, make sure you have your EyeGlass Numbers and Pupillary Distance (PD) measurement on hand. Personal Vision Tracker orders placed in the EyeQue store receive a PD ruler, which is super easy to use. PD is the distance measured in millimeters between the centers of the pupils – most adults have a PD between 54mm to 74mm. This is important because it delineates the optical center of each eyeglass lens. If the PD is wrong (out of tolerance), a person will not be able to accurately focus both of their eyes together.

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Considerable Cost Savings

One of the top benefits of the $29 Personal Vision Tracker is that you can order eyeglasses online at considerable savings. Perhaps you’re already getting promotional emails from some online optical retailers, so you know they offer great deals! Here are our top picks for online retailers.

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Zenni Optical was founded in 2003 by two scientists, with the simple mission of enabling people to buy affordable glasses without compromising great style. Since its humble beginnings in the San Francisco Bay Area, this little company with big ideas grew quickly into an online phenomenon. Fashion mavens, busy moms on-the-go, and discerning customers everywhere realized they could buy affordable, great-looking glasses in the comfort of their own homes. Today, Zenni Optical enjoys status as an online optical leader that other companies have emulated.

With Zenni Frame FitTM, you can upload a digital headshot of yourself and then virtually try on as many frames as you wish. This gives you a good idea how they’ll fit and look on your face. Using state-of-the-art optical materials and the most up-to-date manufacturing process, eyeglasses from Zenni Optical are custom made and delivered directly from their factory to tens of thousands of people all over the world. No middleman or retail-space overhead enables Zenni Optical to sell high-quality glasses at considerable savings compared to brick and mortar opticians. And for those on a tight budget, they offer a huge selection of frames for less than $20!

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While traveling abroad, Eye Buy Direct founder Roy Hessel observed that many people did not have access to obtaining perfect vision. “I founded the company on the belief that quality eyewear should be accessible, and more importantly affordable, to everyone. The ability to see shouldn’t be held at a premium when it’s such an integral part of our daily lives.” To facilitate the process, the company has posted a guide to buying their prescription eyeglasses online.

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Since opening its first lab in 2008, GlassesUSA has manufactured millions of lenses, ranging from single vision to complex ultra-thin lenses for high refractive errors. Today, its dedicated team of optical experts, craftsmen and production workers work in a 7,500 square foot state-of-the-art lab equipped with some of the most modern optic equipment in the industry. The company runs frequent promotions and sales. They also offer an easy-to-use “try it on” tool in which you can upload a photo of yourself to see how frames look.

How to Save More Money

  •    Unless your prescription is above +/- 3.00, professionals recommend skipping add-ons such as antireflective coating, high index or ultrahigh index lenses.
  •    Some online optical retailers accept vision insurance, so investigate this before ordering.
  •    If you have a flexible spending account or health savings account, take advantage of this pretax money to pay for prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Nerd Out with Us at GetGeeked San Francisco

The EyeQue Crew is thrilled to be attending #GetGeekedSF next week, November 14 & 15, 2017 at Terra Gallery located at 511 Harrison Street, San Francisco California.

November 14th will be the Press Showcase and November 15th will be the Consumer Showcase. 

We’re excited to make great connections and debut our latest 20/20 vision screener, the EyeQue Insight! To get a sneak peek of our latest technology, visit our Kickstarter campaign page HERE!

We will be live streaming on Facebook and live tweeting from the exhibit floor and nearby areas @EyeQueCorp, so be sure to tune in, stop by, or reach out to us at pr@eyeque.com!

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Are You Nearsighted or Farsighted?

Refractive errors are one of the most common and correctable causes of visual impairment in the U.S. They occur when the eye cannot focus light properly on the retina. About 42% of Americans ages 12-54 are nearsighted (myopia), an increase from 25% percent in 1971. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is far less common, impacting just 5-10% of people in the U.S. Both of these are refractive errors – a person who is nearsighted can see close objects clearly, but has more difficulty seeing distant objects. Conversely, a person who is farsighted sees distant objects clearly but has problems seeing close objects. People often get confused when it comes to more technical details and refractive correction numbers/abbreviations. Here’s a summary and explanation of both.

Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long from front to back or the cornea (clear front cover of the eye) is steeply curved. As a result, the light entering the eye focuses in the front of the retina (light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye), instead of on its surface. In about 10% of people with myopia, the condition progresses in severity. Signs of myopia include:

  •    Difficulty reading road signs or distant objects clearly
  •    Poor performance in school
  •    Squinting
  •    Eye Strain
  •    Headaches
  •    Feeling fatigued when driving or playing sports
  •    Sitting closer to the television, movie or computer screen
  •    Rubbing eyes or blinking frequently (children)

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Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is too short from front to back, the cornea is not curved enough, or the lens sits farther back in the eye than normal. As a result, light entering the eye focuses behind the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Farsightedness impacts many infants at birth, however, they grow out of it and far more children end up nearsighted due to environmental factors. Signs of hyperopia include:

  •    Difficulty performing close tasks like sewing or reading
  •    Blurred vision, especially at night
  •    Aching eyes
  •    Eyestrain
  •    Rubbing eyes or blinking frequently (children)

Measuring Visual Acuity and Refractive Errors

Visual acuity is typically performed at the beginning of an eye exam using a standardized Snellen chart placed or projected 20 feet away on a wall. For near vision, a small chart is held 14 inches from the face. Progressively small letters are read, one eye at a time, until you can no longer clearly distinguish them. “Normal” or 20/20 vision means you can clearly read specific letters from 20 feet away. If you have 20/40 vision, this means you can read letters from 20 feet that most people see clearly when they are 40 feet away. The EyeQue Insight is a new at home visual acuity screener that allows anyone ages 6 and above to check clarity of vision in under 3 minutes. This number only indicates visual acuity, so a different measuring device is required to obtain a prescription correction.

Insight Promo Video Cover Image
The EyeQue Insight Visual Acuity Device – Available for pre-order on Kickstarter

Refractive Error Test

A device called a phoroptor or refractor is a quick means of determining refractive error and obtaining an accurate eyeglass prescription. The device contains lenses of different strengths which are moved into the patient’s view. The eye doctor asks which of the two combinations of lenses looks clearer until the best correction is found for each eye. The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker lets you obtain the same spherical, cylindrical, and axis figures your eye doctor uses to generate a prescription. The Personal Vision Tracker measures the focal length correction needed for light to focus correctly on your retina.

What do All These Numbers Mean?

You have a piece of paper with mysterious numbers and abbreviations, indicating your eyeglass or contact lens prescription, however, you have no idea what this means. A diopter is a standard unit of measurement on eyeglass prescriptions. A negative diopter number specifies nearsightedness and a lens that minimizes things. Conversely, a positive number indicates farsightedness and a lens that magnifies objects. Simply put, a diopter designates how powerful a lens is needed to properly focus light on a person’s retina. A 1.50 to -7.00 diopter signifies mild to moderate myopia. Many people have astigmatism in addition to myopia or hyperopia. In astigmatism, the cornea has a curvature imperfection, or the lens is distorted, resulting in both near and far objects appearing blurry or distorted.

D.V. stands for distance vision and N.V. stands for near vision. O.D. and O.S. are the Latin abbreviations for right and left eye, respectively. Spherical is the measurement in diopters to correct for myopia or hyperopia. Cylindrical is the measurement in diopters to correct for astigmatism. Axis indicates where astigmatism is located along the horizontal axis of the eye. ADD or N.V. is used if you are getting bifocal lenses.

For example, in the spherical column, a -3.25 O.D. corrects for nearsightedness in the right eye, and a +.5 O.S. corrects for farsightedness in the left. The cylindrical and axis numbers for astigmatism are harder to understand. A cylindrical measurement of -1.0 is the additional myopia correction required for a more curved principal meridian. An axis measurement of 90 degrees is the location of the flatter principal meridian, on a 180-degree rotary scale where 90 degrees designates the vertical meridian of the eye, and 180 degrees designates the horizontal meridian.

How to Make the Most of Your Vision Insurance

Many people are confused if vision care is covered by their health insurance plan. Here is a commonplace scenario – you see your eye doctor because your eyes are itchy and dry and you suspect you have dry eye. While you’re there, the doctor suggests you have a routine eye exam for visual acuity to make sure your correction hasn’t changed. You are surprised when you receive your insurance estimate of benefits, indicating the dry eye portion of your exam is covered, but you are responsible for the full cost of the routine eye exam! Insurance companies define a routine or annual vision exam as an office visit for the purpose of checking vision, screening for disease, and/or updating eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions.

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Routine exams, eyeglasses, and contact lenses aren’t covered by health insurance nor Medicare, however, many people have an ancillary
vision care plan. This plan may be an add-on to regular health insurance or can be purchased separately. It provides partial coverage to offset these costs. As with medical plans, large providers such as Vision Service Plan and EyeMed have two tiers of coverage – in-network and out-of-network. For the latter, out-of-pocket costs are higher and you need to pay for services/goods up front, then submit the receipts for partial reimbursement.

Vision Benefits for covered members typically include:

  •    Routine vision exams
  •    Prescriptions for eyeglass lenses and/or contact lenses
  •    Allowances and/or discounts for eyeglass lenses or contract lenses and frames

Medically Covered Eye Care Costs

Here is another typical scenario – you go to a provider who accepts your vision care insurance. During your partially covered routine exam, the optometrist detects a possible issue with your ocular pressure. You are advised to visit an ophthalmologist, whose services will be considered medically necessary, and therefore covered by your primary health insurance plan. Treatment of eye conditions, diseases, medically necessary surgery, and related prescriptions are covered, subject to your deductible and co-pays. In another scenario, you visit a participating provider in your vision network for a routine vision exam and he or she discovers an eye health condition and runs some diagnostic tests. These are billed to your medical insurance, as are subsequent visits. It’s important to keep in mind an eye doctor who participates in your vision care network may be out of network under your health insurance plan, so you need to ask before approving any tests.

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Vision Service Plan (VSP)

VSP Vision Care (VSP) is the largest vision insurance company in the U.S., although, it also operates in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the U.K., with about 80 million subscribers worldwide. VSP subscribers receive optical services at greatly reduced prices from participating VSP providers. You are responsible for co-payments, but can optimize your savings by using a Health Savings Account (HSA) for out-of-pocket costs.

Buying Online Glasses and Contacts

It can get complicated using vision care benefits when you purchase glasses online, but it is possible. You need to check with each of the online companies to see which vision care plans they accept, both in and out-of-network. For example, Eyeconic.com accepts VSP, MetLife, and Cigna Vision. You could consider the option of buying online out-of-network, in which case you’ll need to pay up front and submit receipts to your vision care provider. It is essential to do price comparisons between local in-network opticians, out-of-network online retailers, and regular promotions offered online. A local optician will always have significantly higher prices than an online retailer like Zenni Optical.

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The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker enables you to obtain spherical, cylindrical and axis figures – the same type your eye doctor uses to generate a prescription. You can take these numbers and order eyeglasses or contacts online. Just keep in mind this doesn’t replace a routine eye exam, which may uncover potential eye health conditions.

Finding Doctors in your Plan

The best way to see if doctors or facilities are in your network is directly on the vison insurer site (e.g. VSP, EyeMed, etc.) If you are looking for a one-stop online search to look at reviews and check if a doctor is in-network, ZocDoc is a good option. The ZocDoc listings may not be as up-to-date as the vision care plan site, so it’s always best to call the doctor’s office directly to check if they still participate.

The Importance of Routine Eye Exams

The American Optometric Association recommends a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years for adults ages 18 to 60, and annual exams for people ages 61 and older. A family history of eye disease (e.g. glaucoma, macular degeneration), diabetes or high blood pressure, and recent eye injuries or surgeries, are exceptions to this rule. In such cases, an annual comprehensive exam is recommended, unless your doctor advises otherwise.

A routine visit to a vision care network provider for eyeglasses likely will not include a dilated exam. Dilation enables a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, such as the retina, macula, and optic nerve and is key to early diagnosis of sight-robbing eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

 

Why Rubbing Your Eyes Can Be Harmful

Rubbing the eyes is a common reaction to being tired, having itchy or dry eyes, or a sensation of foreign matter in the eyes. If you find yourself rubbing your eyes frequently, you should seriously consider stopping this habit. While rubbing your eyes might seem like an inherent human trait (after all, babies do it), it can have negative repercussions, especially if you do so often, too vigorously, or have a pre-existing vision problem.

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Potential Consequences

  1.      Rubbing your eyes can cause tiny blood vessels to break, resulting in bloodshot eyes and dark unsightly circles under the eyes. Once dark circles appear, it is difficult to get rid of them without surgery. Less commonly, chronic eye rubbing can lead to laxity of the eyelid (a loss of elasticity over time).
  2.     Hands are major germ carriers, and in fact, they carry more germs than any other part of the body. When you rub your eyes, germs are easily transferred and can result in eye infections such as conjunctivitis. Washing your hands thoroughly before rubbing your eyes still increases the risk of eye infections.
  3.     If you feel a speck of dirt or an eyelash in your eye, it is tempting to rub your eyes to remove it. Rubbing even a small speck against your cornea (front part of the eye) can easily scratch it. A corneal scratch will produce more aggravating, longer lasting pain than even the most annoying dust particle.
  4.     If you have allergies and your eyes itch, rubbing your eyes can release more histamines (allergens) into the area around your eyes, thereby increasing itchiness.
  5.     If you have certain pre-existing eye conditions such as progressive myopia (a type of nearsightedness), rubbing your eyes can cause further damage to your eyesight. Even worse, if you have glaucoma, rubbing your eyes can cause a spike in ocular pressure, disrupt blood flow to the back of the eye, lead to nerve damage, and may cause permanent loss of vision.
  6.     Studies have shown continuous eye rubbing in susceptible individuals can lead to thinning of the cornea and a serious eye condition called keratoconus. This is a structural abnormality of the cornea that causes irregular astigmatism. In its severe stages, this often cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses and may necessitate a corneal graft.
  7.     If you have punctal plugs inserted in your tear ducts for dry eye, rubbing your eyes too vigorously can dislodge them.

Are You Rubbing Your Eyes Too Hard?

The amount of pressure needed to wash your face with a washcloth gently or dry with a towel is the appropriate amount of pressure to put on your eyes. Anything harder than that can likely negatively impact eye health. If you rub your eyes too hard, this can actually induce a sensation of light or the perception of light without actually seeing light. The little sparks that occur with the eyes closed are called photopsia and can be either benign or a sign of several different conditions.

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Preventive Tips

  •    In most cases, tears will eliminate dirt, sand, or loose eyelashes from your eyes. If not, flush your eyes with lukewarm water or use over-the-counter eye drops (antihistamine or lubricating).
  •    Place a cold compress over your eyes if they itch, are swollen or red. Use a soft clean washcloth or towel, soak it in cool tap water and wring it out. Close your eyes, lean your head back, place the compress on your face, and remove after about 20 minutes.
  •    If you are experiencing allergies, do not use eye makeup because this could increase redness, itchiness and the likelihood of rubbing your eyes.
  •    Wear an eye mask at night to help eliminate dark circles caused by rubbing.

If none of these preventive tips help, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to diagnosis or rule out other potential underlying reasons for chronic eye rubbing.

 

A Guide to Dry Eye: Causes and Vision Changes

Dry eye is caused by a reduction in natural tears and is fairly common in older adults. About 3.2 million women and 1.68 million men age 50 and older are impacted by dry eye syndrome. In normal circumstances, tears spread across the eye’s surface when a person blinks. To better understand dry eye, it helps to have basic knowledge about how tears form and the specific functions of each of the three layers that comprise tears.

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Oily layer: Produced by the meibomian glands, this is the outer layer of the tear film. Meibomian glands are tiny oil glands lining the margin of the eyelids (the edges which touch when the eyelids are closed). Every human eye has 45-70 meibomian glands, counting the upper and lower eyelids. The oil content helps keep the tear surface smooth and prevents them from drying up too quickly.

Dysfunction of the meibomian glands is thought to be the leading global cause of dry eye disease. Inflammation along the eyelid edges (blepharitis), rosacea, and other skin disorders can cause the meibomian glands to become blocked, increasing the risk of dry eye. Like dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction tends to impact older adults more commonly. In a study on 233 older adults, 59% had at least one sign of meibomian gland dysfunction.

Watery layer: This is the middle layer of the tear film and is produced by the lacrimal glands. This is the visible component of tears and is composed of proteins, electrolytes, and water. The primary function of this layer is to clean the eyes and wash away particles that don’t belong such as sand or grit. A decrease or lack of lacrimal gland secretion is the leading cause of a type of dry eye called aqueous tear deficient dry eye syndrome (DES). Inflammation of these glands can result from autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s syndrome, organ transplantation, or simply be a result of aging.

Mucin layer: The inner layer of the tear film is produced by the conjunctiva, the clear tissue covering the white of the eye and inside of the eyelids. This layer helps spread the watery layer over the eye’s surface, keeping it moist. Mucus helps the tears spread over the front surface of the eye (cornea), so when a malfunction occurs, dry patches can form on the cornea.

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In addition to autoimmune diseases, aging and some skin conditions, many over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause dry eye. As many as 95% of patients experience dry eye symptoms after LASIK surgery, but this is usually temporary. Dry eye is more common in women than men, likely due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause. Furthermore, women have an increased risk of autoimmune disorders, which already mentioned, is a dry eye risk factor.

Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye symptoms caused primarily by insufficient tears tend to worsen throughout the day and be more noticeable at night. Whereas symptoms of dry eye associated with blepharitis are typically worse in the morning.

  •    A stinging or burning sensation
  •    Feeling of dryness, grittiness (like sand), and soreness
  •    Stringy mucus in or around eyes
  •    Eye sensitivity to smoke or wind
  •    Redness
  •    Difficulty keeping eyes open
  •    Eye fatigue after reading, even for a short period
  •    Blurred vision, especially at night
  •    Sensitivity to light
  •    Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  •    Double vision
  •    Eyelids sticking together when waking up

Dry Eye and Eyesight Problems

Many people wonder if reduced moisture in the eyes can harm their eyesight. The front surface of the eye is the most powerful focusing surface of the eye, therefore a dry ocular surface can affect eyesight. A decrease or fluctuation in visual acuity, in which objects appear blurry or less defined is not uncommon. A sensitivity to light (photophobia) can occur because a dry ocular surface has more irregularities, scattering light entering the eye. Last, difficulty seeing at night, especially when driving, is quite common. Light hitting the dry ocular surface and scattering can produce halos and glares from oncoming headlights. These are all aggravating side effects, but the question is whether dry eye can impart permanent refractive changes?

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Dry Eye and Refractive Changes

For years, eye doctors did not believe dry eye impacted visual acuity because these symptoms were subtle. Moreover, many patients were able to pass vision tests with 20/20 vision because they blinked enough to produce adequate tears during the exam. Now, it is known that a small number of patients with more severe dry eye have highly irregular corneas, resulting in a reduction in vision.

The Interval Visual Acuity Decay (IVAD) can detect whether people with dry eye experience vision changes throughout a blinking cycle. For example, a person with dry eye who keeps their eyes open may have 20/20 vision for four seconds, then 20/40 for another second, 20/50 for two more, 20/60 for a second or two, and then perhaps as bad as 20/80 before having to blink again. An IVAD study on 18 dry-eye patients and 17 age-matched controls provided further evidence of this phenomenon. Dry-eye patients could only maintain their best-corrected visual acuity for 8.75 ±6.6 seconds before it started to degrade, whereas normal patients maintained it for a statistically significant longer period of 19.46 ±15.97 seconds.

Treatment for dry eye includes artificial tears, prescription eye drops, and tiny punctal plugs which are inserted into the tear ducts. Drinking adequate water throughout the day and maintaining proper humidity in the house can also help.

If you’re suffering from dry eye and experiencing fluctuating vision difficulties, being able to test your vision at home is a huge plus. The EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker can help users screen for vision changes 24/7. By administering tests consistently at certain times of the day, EyeQue can deliver the proper eyeglass numbers to compensate for night vision problems!

 

Your Vision and Road Safety

In the last two decades, a number of studies have focused on the role of vision in driving and many have concentrated on older drivers. This isn’t surprising considering vision impairments are typically far more prevalent in older adults. Most of these studies have assessed the impact of vision impairments on driver safety and performance and some have analyzed specific eye diseases. Several studies have demonstrated quantitative measures such as contrast sensitivity and useful field of view (UFOV) are more accurate than visual acuity for determining the risk level of visually impaired people.

Visual Acuity and Driving

Visual acuity (sharpness of vision) is measured by one’s ability to discern letters or numbers at a given distance according to a fixed standard. A visual acuity test is part of every comprehensive eye exam. It is also the standard vision screening test used by most licensing agencies to assess driving fitness for both initial issuing of driver’s licenses and periodic re-licensure. While visual acuity tests are relevant for clinical diagnosis and monitoring eye disease, they do not reflect the visual complexity and visual functions essential for driving. These include acuity, static acuity, dynamic acuity, visual fields, visual attention, depth perception, and contrast sensitivity. Moreover, driving safety is associated to a large degree with age-related declines in a person’s reaction time and cognition as well as other physical and mental factors.

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The Impact of Eye Disease on Driving

In studies on people with cataracts, contrast sensitivity in the worse eye was more strongly associated with at-fault crash involvement than in the better functioning eye. Similarly, visual field loss in the more severely impacted eye was associated with an increased risk of crash involvement. Drivers with field loss at 70° or 85° in both eyes had two times the rate of crashes, major crashes, and at-fault crash involvement than those without this degree of field loss. Even field loss at 70° or 85° in one eye was associated with major crash involvement.

Research indicates adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) report greater difficulty driving than older adults without AMD. In general, driving difficulties increase with the severity of the disease. Yet even in the earliest stages of AMD when acuity remains relatively sharp, driving at night is a common complaint. Multiple studies revealed older drivers with AMD relied on several self-regulating strategies and drove with extreme caution. Strategies included pulling over when a car was passing, relying on memory for highway exit and stop sign locations, asking a passenger to provide verbal cues about the roadway environment, and scanning the road more frequently. 

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State Licensing Requirements

Road signs in the U.S. are designed and placed based on the assumption drivers have a minimum binocular visual acuity of 20/30. If a driver cannot clearly read signs (e.g. speed limit signs, stop signs, exit signs on the interstate, he or she may not be able to make key driving decisions (e.g. lane changes, turns, exiting) at a safe distance.

Most states require a minimum visual acuity of 20/40 and 120-140° total visual field to obtain and renew a driver’s license. When an individual’s visual status starts to fall below this standard, eligibility may be threatened and other options need to be considered. Visual acuity testing requirements vary greatly by state. Eighteen states enforce shorter renewal periods for drivers older than a specified age and the same number require more frequent vision screening/testing for older drivers. In states in which drivers can renew licenses by mail or online, 16 states and the District of Columbia do not allow this option for older drivers. Alabama, Connecticut, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont do not require proof of adequate vision when renewing, regardless of age.

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The Use of Special Visual Aids for Driving

Research shows those who stop driving because of vision loss experience higher levels of depressive symptoms (13% to 38%) than those who continue driving. It’s important to assess visual, cognitive, and motor skills to determine if a person can still drive and whether they might be a candidate for a visual driving aid (bioptics). There are critics and advocates for the use of bioptics, but not enough scientifically robust studies to build a case one way or the other. The use of bioptics while driving can be dangerous in unsuitable candidates or in individuals who have not undergone proper rehabilitation and training

Bioptics include a telescope mounted on top of a standard pair of spectacles or drilled into the upper part of the lenses. The telescopes can be placed in one or both lenses depending on visual acuity, visual field, central scotomas, ocular dominance, pupillary distance, and other physical factors. The device is carefully designed to optimally fit a person’s face and provide an appropriate level of magnification. Currently, 45 states in the U.S. allow bioptic driving when individuals meet certain requirements. Utah, Iowa, Connecticut, Maine, and the District of Columbia explicitly forbid bioptics from being used while driving, and Minnesota permits them on a case-by-case basis.

If you are an older adult or have an aging parent and feel like a decrease in visual acuity is impacting driving, the EyeQue Personal Vision Tracker is an ideal solution. It allows you to test and track your vision as often as you wish in the privacy of your own home. Recording changes over a period of time is a good way to identify trends or irregularities in your vision that can negatively affect your safety on the road.