If you want to continue driving with low vision, you may want to consider using bioptic lenses to ensure less than perfect vision doesn’t impede your ability to drive.
Of course, driving is a very critical job, and you should check with your doctor and local licensing agency to see if using bioptic lenses can help you qualify to drive.
What are bioptic lenses?
Bioptic lenses, also called bioptic telescopic lenses or more informally known as biooptics, are a pair of lenses used to improve vision. These are miniature binoculars that help people with vision problems see more clearly.
These can be attached to your regular glasses and can be used for one or both eyes. Just like binoculars, bioptic lenses make images look bigger than they are and help you see things more easily.
One of the main benefits of these lenses is that they help you see things much further away. To cite an example, if your normal vision only allows you to see up to ten feet away, a bioptic lens that has 4x power can help you see clearly up to distances of about 40 feet.
Bioptics consist of two lenses with one or two telescopes that are attached to your existing pair of glasses. The telescope is fixed a little above your usual line of sight. These lenses help you see road signs and traffic lights that are at a distance you wouldn’t normally be able to see.
This usually requires you to tilt your head down slightly or move your eyes a little higher, which brings the bioptic into your field of vision and improves your vision. Biooptics is usually prescribed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist.
What is low vision?
The World Health Organization has grouped visual limitations according to visual acuity. For example, a visual acuity of 20/60 means you will need to stand 20 feet away to see what someone with normal vision can see at 60 feet.
If your visual acuity is between 20/60 and 20/200, it is classified as low vision, while anything below 20/400 is classified as blindness.
Who needs bioptic lenses?
In many countries, the car is one of the most convenient means of getting from one point to another. It also improves engagement between people and gives you a sense of freedom without depending on other people or modes of transport.
Many countries have strict guidelines when it comes to driver vision to prevent accidents and one of the things licensing agencies look at is how strong your vision is. Agencies generally do not issue driver’s licenses to people with less than 20/40 vision, although this may vary.
Drivers must adhere to these guidelines and one of the ways to qualify for a license if you have poor vision is to use the biopsy while driving.
If you have less than perfect vision but don’t want to give up the freedom of driving your car, you can choose a bioptic lens that can improve your vision and help you qualify for a driver’s license. This is especially useful for older people who often have to depend on others if they want to go out.
How does the biopsy work while driving?
If you’re considering using bioptics to help you drive, know that you’ll be looking at them for about 90-95% of your overall driving time, which is a lot.
You will typically need to look through the telescope repeatedly for a split second to distinguish specific colors and identify traffic signs, traffic lights, pedestrians, and other vehicles in your surroundings.
Bioptics come into play when the car is moving on the straightest sections of roads and when other objects are at least 20 feet away. You will have to look through your main glasses, also called “carrying” lenses, since the bioptics are attached to them.
How to use the biopsy
If you’ve never used bioptics before, it may take some getting used to. This is because viewing through the miniature magnification system of the bioptic requires a specific movement that involves synchronization between the head and the eye, known as “vertical drop”.
New users typically face two challenges. The first is that you may feel that certain objects in your visual field are moving even though they are not. The second is the disorientation caused by moving objects in your field of vision when looking through telescopes, which can take some getting used to.
Getting accustomed to stationary and moving conditions is essential for people who are new to using Biopsy to get the most out of the lenses while driving.
Drivers in most US states must be trained to qualify for a license which is usually issued by a licensing agency. Some states have a six-week program where you practice for around 90 hours.
This includes a combination of theoretical instruction in a classroom environment and in a car, as well as on-road driving instruction on how to use your bioptic telescopic lenses for driving.
You may also be required to complete an 80-minute driving assessment during which you will drive approximately 40 miles over multiple terrains and different conditions such as sunny, rainy, light and heavy traffic.
Research indicates that once visually impaired drivers are trained and authorized to drive using bioptics, there is not much difference in the incidences of traffic violations or accidents between these drivers. drivers and those who drive without bioptic lenses.
Bioptic lenses can help you maintain the independence of driving your own car. Keep in mind that you will need some training, however, to get the most out of these lenses.
You will also need to know the regulations in your specific area to find out if you can qualify to drive with bioptic lenses with your current vision. One of the things you will need to check is the minimum level of visual acuity to be able to drive with bioptic lenses.
While many US states license people with visual acuity as low as 20/200, regulations in other states may differ. It’s best to check with your local licensing agency to find out where you stand.