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911Doctor. Thank you so very much for your expertise and

Hello again 911Doctor. Thank you...
Hello again 911Doctor. Thank you so very much for your expertise and insight regarding my mother and her appendectomy/pneumonia situation. The information you've given me will indeed help us in making informed decisions about her care both while hospitalized and when she comes home. I feel now as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Now for a more personal question involving me; I have, for most of my life, seen out of just one eye due to what was told to me many many years ago, a neural deficit in my affected eye (R). Since birth, I have not been able to focus or see clearly out of my right eye. The only way I can describe what the vision is like in my right eye, it's like looking through an unfocused microscope and seeing all of the microorganisms moving around on the glass slide, but the view isn't in focus. My left eye has 20/20 vision; I wear glasses due to astigmatism. My opthalmologist told me that I was able to drive with monovision; just make sure I protect as best as possible my good eye (L). However when I go to the department of motor vehicles, they always give me a very difficult time with the vision tests. I explain my situation to them, show them the form my eye dr. filled out, and they still have me take a vision test for which I fail in my right eye. It's very frustrating to say the least! I really really would like to get a drivers license and stop being dependent on public transportation/other people to take me around. Is it possible for me to drive, or would this be considered a disability? Thank you again.
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
3/2/2013
911Doctor
911Doctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,094
Experience: Board Certified Emergency Physician
Verified
911Doctor : Welcome,My answers are for educational purposes only. Remember please, that we do not get paid if you do not click 'accept' / give positive ratings!
911Doctor : I am on the highway and pulled off to give you a brief note.
911Doctor : I will be happy to try and answer but it will take me about 45 minutes to get back to my computer
911Doctor : is that okay?
911Doctor : I will check back with you shortly.
911Doctor : Sorry... Traffic. Be with you ASAP.
911Doctor :

Now that I see your entire question I will opt out. If a note from an ophthalmologist is not doing the trick I do not believe I can give you a satisfactory answer. If anything, this is more of a legal question than a medical one. Thank you so much for your questions, and good luck.

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Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,091
Experience: Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.
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Pretty much all of the states allow one-eyed drivers, so long as their eye is correctable to close to 20/20 vision.

You probably want to check with your state's motor vehicle department for any special restrictions or rules, but by and large your state probably won't care that you only have one eye (unless you try to drive a big rig or a school bus).

The next thing you should know is that outside of about 20 feet, everybody sees the world as if they only had one eye. This means that your driving will be pretty much unchanged for everything that you see which is more than 20 feet away from you. But you do have to watch out for two things:

1) You will not have the same peripheral vision as you did before, because of your nose. This means that you will have somewhat of a "blind spot" on the side of your lost eye. It will take a couple of days to get used to this blind spot, and you will need to learn to turn your head more frequently from side-to-side instead of merely relying on sideward glances from your remaining eye.

2) Within 20 feet you will not have the same level of depth perception as you did before. This means that you must be especially careful in parking, and you should avoid "tight spaces".

 

I suggest that you mount some "fish-eye" mirrors on your side rear-view mirrors, to help eliminate these blind spots. You might also try one of the large wide-angle rear-view mirrors.

I also suggest that in the future you select vehicles with excellent fields-of-view and few blinds spots.

Obviously, you should take greater pains to protect your good eye while driving since if something gets into your good eye you won't have many choices except to slam on the breaks until you can get it cleared.

Except for these two concerns, your driving should be about the same. I suggest that you get out and drive as soon as possible after the loss of your eye, to psychologically reassure yourself that you will retain the same mobility as you had before your loss. For me, it was a big mental step towards recovery to get out and drive myself to work and back, and figure out that I can still go where I want to go when I want to go there.

But don't be careless -- for your first several trips please take someone with you to help you with the blind spots and measuring close distances while parking (this is more for your confidence -- you'll find in the first 20 feet that you don't need any help and will be just fine).
Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,091
Experience: Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.
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