For many of us, driving at night is fairly easy- unless you have an astigmatism.
“The lights are blinding, but in a weird, spider-web kind of way,” I tried explaining to my wife why I hate driving at night, and she didn’t quite understand. So when I came across a post on Twitter about this very subject, I was ecstatic to show her.
Astigmatism is when the cornea is slightly curved rather than completely round..
With astigmatism, light focuses on several points of the retina rather just one point. This is what people with Astigmatisms vs without. pic.twitter.com/RXWWayFBRJ
— Unusual Facts (@UnusualFacts6) March 25, 2019
The post comes from the page UnusualFacts, and highlights the difference in how a person with astigmatism sees light compared to someone without the condition.
Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred vision. It occurs when the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is irregularly shaped or sometimes because of the curvature of the lens inside the eye. … As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance.
Below is what driving at night looks to a normal eye:
A normal eye has both the cornea and lens curved in a rounded shape, whereas people with astigmatism have one of these elements in an egg shape. In a perfect eye, the rounded shape of the cornea and lens refract any incoming light to produce a sharply focused image on the retina.
And this is what driving at night with astigmatism looks like to those who have it:
In an eye with a refractive error, the mismatched curves in the eye prevent the light rays from bending properly. The result is blurred vision.
People who discover they have astigmatism can still live relatively hassle-free lives. The most common vision corrections for the symptoms of astigmatism are glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery.
Driving at night can be an absolute nightmare for those with astigmatism. Besides the way the lights bend and shift, there’s also another hazard that most people don’t discuss: rain. When rain hits dark pavement at night, and lights are added to the mix, it can be downright blinding. Personally, I have had to pull off the road before due to not being able to see well enough.
The image below shows how light is focused through a normal cornea, and through a cornea with astigmatism. Notice the focal point.
After thousands of people saw this post, they started commenting on the subject, with realizations that they too may have astigmatism.
If this looks familiar to you, you should make an appointment with an optometrist and have your vision checked.