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

Nobody wants side effects as a result of a treatment—whether they are intended or not. But the reality is with almost all forms of medicine and surgery there comes a chance of experiencing side effects and the same applies to Laser Eye Surgery.

If that’s the case, then the best you can do is to be aware of what those side effects are, how commonly they occur, and what exactly they entail.

This is more difficult than it sounds as side effects are often considered an after thought or something to hide in the corner in microscopic print. We often find this with over the counter drugs and high street surgery providers, and it’s generally always for the same reason—they are driven by sales figures.

What’s ironic is that the deception is often more painful than the actual side effects. If only you’d been aware of the risks and in a position where you could manage them, they would suddenly be less troubling.

Night glare as a result of LASIK

Compared to other forms of surgery, Laser Eye Surgery comes with very little risk of side effects. One of which that every LASIK patient experiences is 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 original prescription, age, or individual experience of the surgery. However, 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.

Some people may experience halos and starbursts for a couple of weeks, while others not so much. To whatever degree night glare affects you, you can rest assured it’s all part of the eye’s natural healing process.

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The swelling from the procedure takes around three months to settle. It’s not uncommon to have a little residual night glare after this time, but if it’s severely disrupting your vision, tests can be done to identify the source of the issue and determine how it can be resolved.

How to Minimise Chances of Night Glare

As we’ve mentioned, some night glare is expected as part of the natural healing process following LASIK. This is simply because the surface of the cornea is re-shaped during surgery, changing the way in which you perceive light.

The period of adjustment and healing that follows may be unavoidable, but there are few things you can do to help manage and reduce the effects of night glare.

After LASIK, if your pupils dilate in low light conditions beyond the area of the cornea which the laser has treated, you may experience some glare and halos.

Any good clinic with a thorough initial consultation will determine whether or not they 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.

If you already have night glare due to your pupil size, fear not, there’s also a few things you can do to help.

When driving, some patients find keeping the overhead light on inside the car stops their pupils dilating too much. You can also try medicated eye drops which can work in the same way, reducing the affect of glare on your vision in low light.

If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about the side effects of LASIK, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

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

  1. srini 11/04/2016 at 04:07


    I am 33 male and working as software consultant
    I done lasek 2 weeks ago , from past 2 days I feeling double vision and hazeness, I have to work on computer 8 hours a day, it’s comman issue after lasek or its like a complication , Iam worried about my vision. Can some one please suggest me on this??

    • Bethany Kingsley 11/04/2016 at 08:09

      Hi Srini.

      Thank you for your comment. I would suggest that you contact the clinic that performed your surgery and seek advice or a post-operative visit from them. We cannot give you specific information regarding your procedure as we did not perform surgery.


  2. Priya Naik 08/02/2017 at 11:45

    I am 45 years lady, done eye surgery to remove specks( Reading) and now its almost 2.5 month passed still i see halos and starburst at night and small shadow around thing in the sun.
    it will remain forever or this will reduce over aperiod of time. or should i replace the lens again as doctor suggested. kindly guide the same.

    • Bethany Kingsley 08/02/2017 at 11:58

      Hi Priya,
      If you are concerned you should go back to your treating surgeon. Night time vision disturbances are a side effect from surgery and are nothing to be concerned about in this early stage of your recovery, they tend to settle down as the eye is healing. You have mentioned lens replacement, patients actually report a higher rate of night time visual disturbances permanently following surgery with a multifocal lens, so I would certainly sit tight and speak to the clinic you had surgery with and ask them to assess you.
      London Vision Clinic

  3. Afser 12/12/2017 at 08:04

    I had undergone laser surgery during the year 2011. Now about about 3 months ago. Ifeel difficulties in night drive. I feel like lights flickering to my eyes. I went to the hospital where I had my lasik surgery . The doctor said my eyes are in normal condition.They gave me some eye drops. I feel normal after few days. Again now it has become flickering light on my eyes. Like glare and halos. So please tell me how it can be corrected.

    • Bethany Kingsley 09/01/2018 at 11:02

      Hi Asfer,
      After Laser Eye Surgery, every patient will experience night glare, during the eyes healing process. However, this should disappear over time. You would need to have your eyes fully assessed to determine whether a follow-up procedure to tweak your result would be beneficial, or alternatively wearing glasses at night may help. Some patients find medicated eye drops really helpful at preventing their pupils from fully dilating too.
      Many Thanks,
      London Vision Clinic

      • syed abuthakir 28/12/2018 at 15:03

        I am Syed I am working In Software Company And I am using the system in 8 hours per day, and I have trouble to Night glare at riding at bike. It is a Common issues or like starbursts and i did not consult in any Eye specialist pls give them some solution or treatments, I am already using in specs at above 10 years.

        • Chloe Lay 03/01/2019 at 13:31

          Hi Syed, sorry to hear of your troubles. Have you had laser eye surgery? If so, you should get in touch with the clinic and surgeon who treated you for advice on how to manage this.
          If you are enquiring about laser eye surgery, you can chat with one of our Patient Care Coordinators on 020 7224 1005. They will be able to provide you with further information at this stage.
          Best wishes,
          London Vision Clinic

  4. Bharath Kumar. R 16/04/2018 at 12:12

    I had my epi Lasik 1 month back for myopia. My right eye has crisp and clear vision but my left eye has vision fluctuations. I have clear vision during bright day light. During evenings and at low light, I have double vision.

    My concern is that I use to sleep with my face resting on pillow. Does the pressure exerted will have any impact on my numbers or my course of healing.

    Kindly help…

    • Chloe Lay 04/05/2018 at 09:19

      Bharath, we recommend you contact us for advice on 020 7224 1005. We routinely see patients from all around the world for therapeutic visual assessments and treatment.
      After surgery here, we provide you with eye shields that you must wear for the first week after surgery, these prevent pressure or you touching your eyes whilst asleep.
      Thanks, London Vision Clinic

  5. Ezra Baraka 09/07/2019 at 17:42

    I Got lasik 3 and half weeks ago. one eye i had contoura vision, on the other eye the surgeon said he noticed a scar i said yes i scratched my cornea 10 years ago.
    so he said we can’t get an accurate reading for contoura so he did wavefront optimized using the Allegreta Wavelight platform.

    I got big halos in both Eyes for first 2 weeks but starting to subside. but the eye that had wavefront optimized i also see like a smeared effect where the light is like a streak down the middle kind of like a glare through dirty glass.

    When i mentioned to the Doctor in 3 week follow up he said Yea contoura vision would eliminate most glare. thats why the glare is worse through the wavefront Optimized eye. i asked if it will go away he said “it might and it goes away in most patients” im kind of annoyed that the glare patterns are diff like in contoura just halos. but halos are going down in both eyes

    Should i be concerned yet? why did he say Might?

    • Chloe Lay 17/07/2019 at 08:48

      Hi Ezra,
      Unfortunately, we are not able to comment on your eyes without seeing you for a full eye examination. We recommend that you continue reviewing your symptoms with your surgeon throughout your post-operative appointments. They should provide you with support throughout this process.
      Kindest Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

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