It’s a sunny Sunday morning. You feel rested and you’d love to go on a daytrip. But you dread the drive! You know that in less than an hour you’ll feel exhausted, with a headache, and tension around the eyes. Like on many occasions in the past the fatigue will remain your companion all day! But what causes tiredness when driving (or just riding in a car)? Why driver fatigue and eye strain from driving? Think about it: unless traffic is nerve-wrecking you just sit and watch!? Curiously for some people driving is resting?!? This post draws from vision science to suggest that your driving fatigue (and glare sensitivity) may be associated with low macular pigment optical density. It then suggests solutions: blue light filtering (and polarized) tinted glasses, an antiglare dashmat, and macular pigment carotenoids rich food or dietary supplements to decrease your glare sensitivity.
I have defined glare in a previous post. In this one I further develop the answer to the question What is glare by listing several examples of glare. Moreover, I suggest which examples of stronger glare might lead to disability glare and classify glare as direct or indirect. I also explain in which cases glare is particularly deceiving for being too subtle to notice negative effects quickly.
What is glare? I use the word glare frequently and therefore I should define it. What is the meaning of glare for a light sensitive person? I have given some clues about what glare feels like to a person with photophobia (see Why Glarminy and About Glarminy) but again, I haven’t taken the time for an explanation.
Astigmatism treatment may be a very important way of fighting photophobia / light sensitivity. One of the symptoms of astigmatism is also (mis)perception of glare (see Does anybody else have trouble driving at night because of headlight glare?). Given the alternatives my favorite astigmatism treatment is exercising eye muscles.
The benefits of polarized sunglasses for driving should be commented here on Glarminy. Driving is a common life activities for most of us and also perhaps the glariest of all (see Glare, worst driving comfort enemy: driver fatigue, eye strain causes and solutions). A light sensitive person will encounter problems with glare in all driving conditions except on an overcast day (if it is not too dark or too bright).