Truck drivers must have excellent eyesight. Without it, they’re compromising safety for themselves and other road users. Poor eyesight impairs their ability to make split-second decisions that can save lives, and not only impacts drivers’ job performance but also their quality of life.
Being a FIFO truck worker can be even more challenging than driving on the open road. The dust and harsh weather conditions cause many FIFO mine workers to invest in laser eye surgery.
Common Vision Problems of Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are at risk of increased health risks, but their eyes are the body part that’s at greatest risk and most needed.
Eye Strain – Truck drivers focus on the road for long hours at once, which places strain on the eyes. Bright lights of headlights at night and sun during the day can also tire the eyes.
Age-Related Loss of Vision – The median age of truck drivers in Australia is 48 years, eight years older than the average age of workers across all jobs. With an ageing workforce, truck drivers are more likely to suffer from poor vision due to their advancing years. Over the age of 60, truck drivers are at risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Macular Degeneration – Drivers can struggle with glare due to years of unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays. The UV can cause eye disorders such as macular degeneration and blurring of the central vision.
Wearing Contacts or Glasses on Site
Working on a mine site is hard-core due to the long hours and harsh conditions. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, the dust can make life on site even more challenging. Goggles or safety glasses keep most of the dust out, but it can still get into the eyes and cause irritation. The heat and drying air can also cause havoc for workers with contacts.
Wearing glasses on a mine site can also be problematic. Prescription glasses don’t protect the eyes against microscopic and semi-microscopic mobile particles. Only safety glasses can offer the protection eyes require, so some mine workers wear safety glasses on top of their prescription glasses. And wearing two pairs of glasses isn’t what many workers find comfortable. To avoid the inconveniences of wearing glasses and contact lenses on site, many mine workers turn to laser eye surgery.
Glasses and contact lenses are not only problematic on-site, but they’re also expensive. For most people, investing in laser eye surgery means they no longer need to pay for contacts every month or constantly new prescription glasses.
Types of Laser Eye Surgery
LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) is the original laser eye surgery procedure and is still very popular today. Over 30 million surgeries have been performed worldwide to correct refractive errors.
SmartSight is the latest in laser eye surgery technology. It’s even less invasive than other forms of laser eye surgery, so the recovery time is significantly reduced and the results are excellent.
PRK (Photo Refractive Keratectomy) is laser ablation done on the surface of the cornea rather than a flap-like other forms of surgery. It’s ideal for patients whose cornea is too thin.
Laser Eye Surgery for Truck Drivers FAQs
Find a few common questions FIFO workers may have when considering laser eye surgery.
Is laser eye surgery suitable for all truck drivers?
With the different types of laser eye surgery available, there’s one to suit most people requiring vision correction. Take our suitability test and find out!
How long after laser eye surgery can you drive?
The recovery time from laser eye surgery is incredibly fast, even for professional truck drivers. The various types of laser eye surgery have different recovery times; with LASIK you should be able to drive a few days after surgery, while PRK will take a little longer, around one week. Most of the time you’ll be able to drive as soon as you’re comfortable with your eyesight in the bright light and can judge speed and distance. Nevertheless, it is always best to consult with the professional who attended your case.
Will I experience halos during night driving after the surgery?
Night driving after laser eye surgery is one of the biggest concerns for truck drivers. Some people experience glare, halos, or starbursts when driving at night after surgery. It may take longer to be comfortable driving at night than during daylight.
So it is best to be patient for optimal recovery and top long-term results.
If you’re a truck driver and need your eyes to be in the best possible condition for those long shifts, schedule a consultation today to discuss how laser eye surgery can fit into your lifestyle and enhance your FIFO career.
Contact Lions Laser Vision
Please call us at Lions Laser Vision and speak with one of our clinical coordinators who will be able to answer your questions and schedule an initial consultation with one of our refractive surgeons.
Alternatively, complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
PHONE: 08 9381 0758
FAX: 08 9381 0700
Lions Eye Institute
Lions Laser Vision
2 Verdun Street
Nedlands WA 6009
St John of God Murdoch
Murdoch Medical Centre
100 Murdoch Dr
Murdoch WA 6150