As a dedicated specoid, I ensure that I get a regular eyesight test annually and change my glasses accordingly. I don’t like contact lenses because I know it will all go wrong and I have this vision (sorry) that they will slide out of the back of my eye and collect in the space where my brain used to be pre-Brexit.
That’s one of the benefits (actually, the only benefit) of being a life-long spectacle wearer. You know when your eyesight has changed and that’s important especially, for example, when driving. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to wear bins to be a bad driver, many can do it simply by being stupid.
The point is though over time our eyesight deteriorates and previously strong vision can become weak. This deterioration happens slowly over time and many people simply don’t notice it even when they start squinting and saying vaguely, ‘you know, I really must get my eyes checked’ and then instantly forgetting all about it.
If eyesight problems are left unaddressed they can often lead to poor reaction times. Eyesight can deteriorate over time without a person noticing. Driving today, more than ever, is fraught with dangers. From uninsured, unlicensed drivers, crooks and bandits, dodgy motors, and people who can’t leave the in-car tech or smartphones alone for two seconds, our highways are packed with people who want to kill you, if inadvertently. We need eyes that function properly.
It is recommended that we should all have an eyesight test every two years. It should be mandatory for drivers. The days of expensive specs are long gone; many supermarkets now have an opticians and it need not cost a lot. Eye tests are free for our elder folk.
Do you have to move closer to the television? Do you have to squint to read your book? Do you find yourself peering over the steering wheel like Mr Magoo? You need glasses chummy.
Eyesight At Night
Driving at night can be the most telling time of day as our eyes age. No matter how sharp-eyed we may think we are, it is a fact of life that as we get older our eyes become less sensitive to light. Oddly, twilight can often be the most problematic time, as shadows lengthen.
Nobody is saying stop driving, especially with the improvements in headlight technology that can recognise hazards, but 20:20 vision is a must. Similarly, sunlight, light reflected from snow or bright or harsh light has us all reaching for the shades. That’s just as important for the short of sight, as is proper hydration. It is easy to forget to drink water on a long trip.
In any case, the law requires it, so there. If you are unlucky enough to come across one of the handful of traffic cops on our roads who is not otherwise engaged in ensuring you are being diverse and inclusive and non-judgemental, he might just notice your driving standards.
Keep ’em peeled! Geoff Maxted