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.

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.