Post-LASIK patients risk of halos and starbursts around bright lights at night

Side effects are never a wanted accompaniment to any type of treatment – whether expected or not. But the reality is that side effects occur with almost all kinds of medical and surgical treatments – and the same applies to Laser Eye Surgery.

Therefore, it is always best to be aware of what you can expect when you have treatment. For example, what are the common side effects and what exactly do they entail.

Unfortunately, side effects are often treated as an afterthought or something that should be hidden in the corner in microscopic print. This is often the case with over-the-counter drugs and high street Laser Eye Surgery providers, and it’s generally always for the same reason – they are driven by sales figures.

Ironically, this type of deception is often more painful and harmful than the side effects themselves. Being aware of the risks places you in the best position to manage them – making them instantly less troubling.

So, what are some of the common side effects associated with Laser Eye Surgery?

Night glare as a result of LASIK

Laser Eye Surgery has become one of the most commonly performed elective procedures in the world. This has also helped to make it one of the safest with very little risk of side effects. But, one side effect that every LASIK patient experiences are night glare.

Night-time effects after Laser Eye Surgery are unavoidable due to swelling that occurs from the procedure.This happens to every patient, regardless of the original prescription, age, or individual experience of surgery.

Night glare can also come in the form of ‘halos’ or ‘starbursts’. Halos are the rings which appear around light sources, while starbursts are the glare you see around lights.

The severity and longevity of these night glare issues can vary significantly from patient to patient. Some may only see halos and starbursts for a few days while for others, they may persist for longer. But, to whatever extent they occur, you can be assured that they are just temporary and are all part of the eye’s natural healing process.

Typically swelling takes around three months to settle fully. It is not uncommon to have a little residual night glare after this time, but if it is causing significant disruption, tests can be carried out to get to the source of the issue and figure out how it could be resolved.

How to Minimise Chances of Night Glare

As stated, some night glare is to be expected as part of your eyes’ natural healing process following LASIK treatment. There will always be a period of adjustment and healing time following treatment, but there are some things that can be done to manage and reduce the effects of night glare.

One factor that can play a role in excessive night glare is the size of the pupils. Night glare often occurs after LASIK if your pupils dilate beyond the area of the cornea which has been treated.

It is therefore important to have a thorough consultation that will determine whether or not your clinic can treat a large enough area of your cornea before qualifying you for surgery. This is one of the reasons why the initial consultation is such an important part of the Laser Eye Surgery process.

Night glare may be an annoyance but, in most situations, it is often not a serious problem. However, it can become an issue if you are driving at night.

When driving, some patients find that keeping the overhead light on inside the car can stop their pupils from dilating too much, which can help to reduce night glare. You can also try medicated eye drops which can work in the same way, reducing the effect of glare on your vision in low light.

If you would like to learn more about the side effects of Laser Eye Surgery, speak to one of our friendly Clinic Coordinators today. Call 020 7224 1005 – we’d love to hear from you.