If you have been diagnosed with specific auto-immune disorders, eye problems, or some type of inflammatory disease, you might find it difficult to spend time in your car with sunlight streaming through the driver window and the windshield. Fortunately, if your condition meets certain requirements, you can darken or replace you care windows with ones that more easily block out the sun. However, these windows do come with some safety risks that you should be aware of. Here are some things you need to know about using your windows as a means of protecting yourself from harm.

What conditions usually qualify for window darkening exceptions?

Because most states do not allow windshields and driver doors to be tinted, you will have to qualify in order to make an exception from these laws. Your doctor or optometrist (if your condition affects the eyes) will need to write a letter detailing why you need this accommodation. Conditions that usually qualify include:

  • Chronic illnesses. Terminal cancer patients or even those suffering from severe chronic allergies do not respond well to bright light. The reason for this is because light stimulates the production of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D, when over produced, as is more likely in patients who have weak health, can lead to further inflammatory responses in the body. In short, exposure to light can make diseases worse, bring on more symptoms, or lead to greater pain. 
  • Lupus. This auto-immune disorder can have several manifestations, and one of them is light sensitivity. Light can stimulate the immune system, which further attacks the body. In fact, exposure to UV light caused an increase in symptom severity in 40-70% of patients.
  • Ocular albinism. Those without pigment in the irises can suffer from health problems if the eyes are exposed to bright light. Some with mild forms of albinism may still be able to drive, as the vision will not be fully impaired. Ocular albinism prevents someone from simply wearing prescription sunglasses, since special vision devices are needed to correct vision when people have this condition.
  • Skin cancer. UV light can make melanoma worse. It can also be painful to drive while healing from treatment. 
  • Other issues. Those with eye conditions that would be made worse from direct sun exposure while driving; Life-saving medication that had sun sensitivity as a side effect.

It's important to note that the DMV will only grant exceptions if window tinting or window replacement is the best or only recourse. If a person can get adequate protection from sunglasses, sunscreens, or other types of sun protection, the exception might not be granted. 

How can window tinting or replacement help?

Window tinting can help to block as much as 99% of harmful UV light. If your car is very old, applying window tinting may be more difficult. It also can be hard to tint windows that are cracked or gouged. In this case, you would need to replace your auto glass from newer models. These can sometimes be pre-tinted before installation for more effective protection. Contact a professional service like All Auto Glass to see what options are available.

What other protections can be utilized?

Your doctor may suggest further protections, especially if your application for tinting is denied by the DMV. If your skin is intact and healthy on the outside, sunscreen is the best option. Long sleeved, light colored clothing is another good protective measure. You might also consider placing a removable sun shade, like those used for baby car seats, on the driver's side to protect the left side of your face. 

Light sensitivity can be a major problem for those who have bad eyesight or who struggle with immune system problems or uncontrolled inflammation. Talk to a window tinting or replacement service about measures you can take to make your car more health-friendly.