/ Driving and Eye Surgery

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mypyrex - on 09 Oct 2017

Having had eye surgery two weeks ago I was beginning to miss the ability to get in the car and head into the hills for a walk. Apart from a slight setback last week the vision in the operated eye has gradually been improving.

I saw the consultant today and asked how long she thought it might be before I could drive again. I was mildly surprised when she said that, legally, I was ok to drive now but that it was a matter for which I should apply common sense. I will, in fact wait for another few days.

What surprised me was the blurred vision I am currently experiencing is apparently better than the minimum driving standard although when I did the routine visual acuity test I was able to read the line fourth from the bottom with both eyes.
Post edited at 20:45
rogerwebb - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

They let me drive with one!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:
A lot of people are surprised by how lenient the driving standard seems to be. Did your consultant make you aware that you need VA of 6/12 (the line on the chart, usually 4th or 5th up) but you also have to pass the number plate test, which is slightly harder (post 2001 plate from 20m)?

There is a requirement for your visual field too (guessing you've done *a lot* of visual field testing in your time). If the glaucoma has only affected one eye, there's no problem, it's an issue when you lose the same bits of field in each eye so you have a blindspot with both eyes together.

But in driving, visual acuity isn't really that important. You need to know where other vehicles and people are in relation to your car - you don't need to be able to read the labels on their clothes. About the smallest object that's relevant in driving is a cat, and you need VA of way poorer than 6/12 to spot a cat from say 30m. The visual field part is much more important. There are other aspects of vision like contrast sensitivity (ability to spot things if they're just slightly different shades of grey) that are better indicators of driving safety, but we use VA because it's so easy to measure. And if your best corrected VA is worse than 6/12 then your eyes are not in good shape for some reason so best not get behind the wheel.

Wishing you a quick recovery and to get back to driving soon as you can.
Post edited at 21:12
Jon Stewart - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

> They let me drive with one!

There's a huge % of the population driving with just one functioning eye. Anyone with a lazy eye for a start.
rogerwebb - on 09 Oct 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

That was an excellent explanation, thanks.
I will stop fearing the chart and just worry about the visual field.
kathrync - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to mypyrex:

I am constantly amazed that my Mum is still allowed to drive given how poor her eyesight it. Last time I saw her, I was sat in the passenger seat gripping the door handle while she was dodging between lorries on the M4 at 85mph and telling me how little she could see!

(She had surgery for glaucoma and a retinal tear a couple of weeks ago before anyone tells me to get her to an optician!)
Sealwife - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

Brother in law survived as a motorbike courier in Central London with one eye, for more than 20 years .
rogerwebb - on 10 Oct 2017
In reply to Sealwife:

That is impressive.
I am too frightened at not being able to look over my right shoulder to even get on a motorbike.
Send him my admiration

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