Every time I try to define a perfectly stable person, I am
appalled by the dullness of that person.

- J.D. Griffin



Bioptic Driver with Lower Starting Vision


Starting vision at the time patients enter bioptic driving is also a factor. If their residual vision is on the lower qualifying level (closer to 20/200) and there is significant potential to change quickly, they may not be a good candidate to drive with bioptics. They might spend a great deal of time and money to become a bioptic driver and a small drop in vision could make them ineligible to continue. This compared to a patient who has a mild loss of vision such as 20/100 and potential to decrease could drop 3-4 lines on the acuity chart before they would not meet the requirements. However, a patient with stable vision loss such as from Albinism could be on the lower vision level, but with a stable condition could drive most of their life.

For many patients such as senior citizens, being able to drive a few more years may be very valuable to their independence. This is particularly true in rural areas without public transportation options. More frequent examination of higher risk patients is advised. We see all bioptic drivers yearly in our practice and those with greater potential to change are check more frequently. 

The doctor must look at the time and cost involved in bioptic licensure and counsel the patient whether this is a realistic option. Restricted licenses without bioptics that limit driving but provide some indepence should be considered where possible.