Bioptic lenses can allow some people with severe nearsightedness or other vision impairments to drive safely. People who have impairment of the central vision but intact peripheral vision may be eligible to use bioptic lenses while driving to see road activity, stoplights or road signs in the distance more clearly, says VisionAware. Bioptic lenses can also allow users to magnify different objects in other situations, such as reading signs at the grocery store or seeing a classroom chalkboard.
Bioptic lenses are a system of small telescopes mounted on top of eyeglass lens. The system provides a way for users to view small or distant objects at a higher magnification, while still being able to use their normal eyeglass lenses for daily tasks. By tilting the head, users learn to switch quickly between looking through their eyeglasses and through the telescopes, say Ocutech.
Bioptic lenses have been used for driving in the United States for more than 30 years. California and New York were the first states to issue licenses to drivers using bioptic lenses in the 1970s. In 1984, the Department of Transportation stated that these drivers should not be discriminated against. Since then, most states have adopted laws that allow driving using bioptic lenses, according to the Low Vision Centers of Indiana.