What is Bioptic Driving?

Individual driving a vehicle while wearing bioptic telescopes affixed to red-orange eyeglasses
Crystal Davis of Ocutech, Inc. learning to drive with Ocutech bioptics

Every day many young people are given the news that obtaining a driver’s license is not in their future due to blindness or low vision. Adults also face this challenge but with the possibility of losing their license. This news, no matter the age, not only has an emotional impact but also has an impact on the ability to move around independently. A diagnosis of low vision may mean no driving abilities, however, those that have mild to moderate central vision impairment with good peripheral vision may benefit from something called “bioptic driving.”

Bioptic Driving

According to Bioptic Driving USA – The Bioptic Driving Center, bioptic driving is a method of driving that utilizes both the individual’s general vision in combination with intermittent spotting through a telescopic system that improves the sharpness of the individual’s distance vision.

But, how does it work? The individual will quickly glance through the bioptic telescope, which will provide details such as street signs, traffic lights, and distant objects.

Bioptic Telescope

A bioptic telescope is a set of miniature binoculars that can be attached to regular glasses and used with one or both eyes.  The binoculars are just like other binoculars you may have used; the lenses of the bioptics increase the image size.

According to What to Know About Driving With Bioptic Lenses (webmd.com), bioptics consist of two lenses with one or two telescopes that can be fixed to a current pair of glasses. The telescope is attached just above one’s usual line of sight.

Visit What Are Bioptic Telescopes? Who and How Do They Help? (ocutech.com) to learn more and watch Ocutech’s Bioptic Experience Video.

Bioptic Driving Candidates

You may be asking, “How do I know if I am a candidate for bioptic driving?” The answer requires input from multiple specialists which may include a low-vision specialist, a physician, driving rehabilitators, an occupational therapist, and an orientation and mobility specialist. The specialists will complete a variety of tests to rule out individuals who would not be good candidates for bioptic driving. Safety is top priority! For more information on tests that are completed for bioptic driving visit: http://www.biopticdrivingusa.com/low-vision-exam/.

You’ll also want to check if your state allows bioptic driving, as the laws for bioptic driving are not the same in every state. Check out this website for more information on your state’s bioptic driving laws: http://www.biopticdrivingusa.com/state-laws/.

Bioptic telescopes may help individuals gain or keep their independence driving a car. You need to speak with specialists and have specific training to make sure the bioptics are a good fit and will keep you and others safe.

Visit www.Ocutech.com where you can find more information on driving with bioptics.

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Image of Crystal Davis is courtesy of Crystal Davis of Ocutech, Inc.