Macular Degeneration and Driving
If you have a family history of macular degeneration or have any changes in your central vision, you should immediately contact your eye care provider. After a definitive diagnosis of macular degeneration, how often you visit your eye care expert depends on your doctor's advice, the type of macular degeneration that you have, and your symptoms.
Although not much can be done to stop the disease from getting worse, the use of antioxidant vitamins may help slow down its progression (see Vitamins for Macular Degeneration). Additionally, there are surgical procedures that may help if they are done in the early stages of the disease (see Surgery for Macular Degeneration).
Your eye care expert can refer you to a specialist, if needed. This specialist can give you on- and off-road tests to see if, and how, your macular degeneration is affecting your driving. The specialist also may offer training to improve your driving skills.
Improving your skills could help keep you and others around you safe. To find a specialist near you, call the Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists at 1-800-290-2344. You also can call hospitals and rehabilitation facilities to find an occupational therapist who can help with the driving skills assessment.
You can keep your independence with macular degeneration, even if you have to cut back or give up on your driving. It may take planning ahead on your part, but it will get you to the places you want to go and the people you want to see. Consider:
- Rides with family and friends
- Shuttle buses or vans
- Public buses, trains, and subways.
Also, senior centers, religious organizations, and other local service groups often offer transportation services for older adults in your community.