And that brings us at last to distance vision. I've deliberately not said much about distance yet. How far we can see is one of the first things people ask if you have an eye condition. But, as I've hopefully outlined above, I wanted to emphasise that nystagmus is not simply about less than ordinary distance vision.
Yes, people with nystagmus generally can't see as far as people with ordinary vision. And, confusingly, some of us wear specs or contact lenses to correct short or long sight. But even with glasses or lenses we often won't see as far as the rest of you.
That brings us back to driving. The main measure of whether we can see well enough to drive is reading a number plate at 20 metres. I said earlier that some of us can read that number plate, but still don't feel safe to drive. Hopefully after reading about how nystagmus varies, how we are slow to see, about the null zone and all the other little nystagmus quirks you now understand why that might be.
This is where I fess up and tell you that many years ago I took driving lessons as I was border-line for reading a number plate. But after 20 or so lessons, two instructors and I agreed that my reactions were too slow,I simply didn't see some things in certain lights and I couldn't use the rear view mirrors effectively largely because of my null zone.
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