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Driving with Keratoconus

Posted: Thu 05 Nov 2015 2:02 am
by jessicavaz
Hi there,
This is my very first post . I am 23 years old and have been diagnosed with Keratoconus about 5 years ago. I am about to start my driving lessons and wanted to know more about driving with Keratoconus, is there any advice and important aspect that I should take into consideration before starting driving? Also, will I need a letter from my doctor/ophtamologist?

Thanks !

Re: Driving with Keratoconus

Posted: Wed 11 Nov 2015 2:38 pm
by Anne Klepacz
Hi Jessica and welcome to the forum.
I'm assuming that your KC is quite mild if you're getting good vision with spectacles five years on from being diagnosed. Your optician will be able to tell you if your vision is good enough in glasses to satisfy the driving criteria. If it is, then you shouldn't need a letter from your specialist. But we do advise people with KC to tell both their insurer and DVLA that they have the condition - that way, if you did have a prang, they can't turn round and say you're not covered because you didn't tell us about an eye condition.
Some people with KC find night driving more of a problem because we get halos round lights and find oncoming headlights can be blinding (and of course, this time of year night driving starts at 4pm!) Seeing well enough at dusk can also be more difficult. If you do get a lot of glare and halos, you might find they're reduced with contact lenses.
There's lots of people here who do drive, so I hope some of them will reply to your post. Good luck!

Re: Driving with Keratoconus

Posted: Wed 01 Nov 2017 3:52 pm
by Britdazz
Very old thread but for reference to others via search engine this is my experience in a nutshell.

I'm a 52 year old truck driver, who surprise of all works permanent nights. I have as per the licence requirements informed the DVLA of my KC and to date have passed both my legally required HGV medicals at 45 and 50 years old respectively using my Doctor, so I have no way of misinforming the authority's.
The licence result was to have a 01 restriction placed upon it, which is the same for people who need to wear glasses, but still allowed to drive both cars and hgv's.

My night time vision is almost as good as in the day time, now and again at night I get say 4 light streaks from below oncoming headlights but nothing that effects my overall vision, they are slight, then some nights nothing at all.

I did once think my driving career was at an end when trying to get a suitable replacement lens in my left eye, the worst, but once the correct fitting lens was eventfully prescribed my night vision became as good as my glasses wearing wife if not better in some respects.

I don't know if this helps but the lens in my left eye is weighted, it was once described as containing a prism, later on described as containing two prescriptions, when this was fitted for the first time it was a revelation, it cleared up ghosting and some light streaks, I was looking at a letter on the eye chart and seeing two of them, the black one and then a second grey ghosting one prior to this lens.

So I think a persons fitness to drive at night depends on how severe your KC is, and how well your lenses fit/correct and your overall vision.

Re: Driving with Keratoconus

Posted: Sat 04 Nov 2017 11:25 am
by John Thatcher
Thanks Britdazz, I think that is a very useful contribution and your last line sums it up very well. The only thing I would add is that we all have to be aware that things can change and we have to stay aware of this. However, contact lens design and materials continue to improve and it's always worth checking with your optometrist if you detect a change. Like you, I've been lucky not to be affected by glare when night driving but I think cataracts, which will eventually affect everyone as they age, can often bring glare problems but they usually develop very slowly.