If you’re over 60, never wear these glasses while driving — Best Life

Every day in the United States, nearly 700 seniors are injured in car accidents and more than 20 elderly people are killed as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency says the risk of being injured or killed in a car accident increases as people age, as a number of age-related changes tend to affect the way you drive over time . But there are ways to make sure you stay safe on the roads, especially as you age. It turns out knowing what to wear and what not to wear when you’re in the driver’s seat can make all the difference when it comes to preventing crashes. Read on to find out what you should never wear while driving if you’re over 60.

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As you age, your habits may need to change, and this extends to the accessories you choose. The American Optometric Association (AOA) says you should avoid wearing glasses and sunglasses with wide frames or wide arms if you’re over 60. “Glasses with wide temples (side temples) can restrict your side vision“, explains the organization.

Lean PostonMD, licensed physician and medical advisor for Impakt Fitness, says losing your peripheral vision is one of the top three changes that affect your vision as you age. According to Poston, people lose between 1 and 3 degrees of peripheral vision every decade of their lives. By the time you turn 60, much of that peripheral vision is already gone.

“Avoid wearing glasses and sunglasses that can further restrict your peripheral vision while driving,” she recommends, echoing advice from the AOA.

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Mature women in medical appointment with ophthalmologist
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Along with losing your peripheral vision, Poston says there are two other major changes that occur to your vision in your later years: your eyes are shrinking and your lenses are getting thicker. “As the lens thickens, it also becomes cloudier, a process called cataracts,” she explains, noting that spots and floaters in your vision also increase with age.

According to the AOA, cataracts can “cause blurred vision, decreased contrast sensitivity, decreased ability to see in low light conditions, dulling of colors, and increased sensitivity to glare.” But cataracts aren’t the only thing that can permanently change your vision after you hit 60. Other vision disorders that can occur later in life include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, dry eye, glaucoma and retinal detachment, according to the AOA.

“Many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They can develop painlessly, and you may not notice changes in your vision until the disease is quite advanced. Wise lifestyle choices, Regular eye exams and early detection of disease can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health and vision as you age,” the organization states.

Close-up of a senior man holding his hand on the steering and driving his car.
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According to Poston and the AOA, these changes in your vision can make driving much more difficult as you get older. “Age-related vision changes and eye disease can negatively affect your driving abilities, even before you are aware of the symptoms,” says the AOA.

The AOA states that loss of side vision is just one of the age-related vision changes that commonly affect older adults’ driving. Other issues include difficulty seeing objects up close, difficulty judging speed, changes in color perception, vision problems in low light or night conditions, and difficulty adjusting to the sunlight.

“These vision changes can make it harder to see the gauges on your dashboards and road signs. You might notice that it’s also harder to judge distances,” adds Poston. “Cataracts can also cause halos around light and make it difficult to adapt to glare.”

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Happy mature woman driving a car
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According to the AOA, people over 60 should implement even safer practices in their driving, especially if they drive at night when lack of daylight can exacerbate vision problems. These safe practices include being extra careful at intersections, reducing driving speed and being able to limit yourself to daytime driving.

“Many collisions involving older drivers occur at intersections due to refusing to yield, especially when turning left. Look both ways carefully before entering an intersection. head while driving to compensate for any decrease in peripheral vision,” the AOA recommends. “And if you have trouble seeing at night or your eyes have trouble recovering from the glare of oncoming headlights, slow down and avoid driving at night.”

The AOA also says adults over the age of 60 should consider taking a seniors’ driving course and be sure to get an annual eye exam. “Regular eye exams are even more important as you reach retirement age,” the organization says. “Annual eye exams can ensure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up to date. It can also ensure early detection and treatment of any developing eye health issues.”

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Sarah C. Figueiredo