Side effect: Glare

In the first few moments after Laser Eye surgery, you eagerly look up towards the clock on the far wall or down at your watch and quickly realise you can see the hands ticking around, clearly and vividly.

After a few days you settle into your new vision and start fully enjoying your life of greater visual acuity. Sometimes you forget for a moment and go to reach for your glasses or contacts, while at others, you fully embrace no longer needing vision correction equipment—booking scuba diving trips and enjoying sports like swimming and martial arts.

It’s an experience incomparable to any other. For that reason many patients are largely unaffected by the few, mild side effects of Laser Eye Surgery.

With such a great number of benefits and relatively few negatives, Laser Eye Surgery is placed up there among the lowest risk surgical procedures on the market. For example, here at London Vision Clinic 96% of our patients achieve the normal standard of 20/20 vision, while there’s a minuscule chance of a complication arising that a surgeon could not fix.

Laser Eye Surgery side effects are generally a part of the body’s natural healing response—spanning the first weeks or months following the surgery when the eye is in full recovery mode.

In this brief guide, we’re going to take a look at one of the more commonly experienced side effects: glare. We’ll discuss why glare occurs and exactly how it can affect you, providing you with the peace of mind to start your Laser Eye Surgery today.

What causes glare after Laser Eye Surgery?

In the first few days following surgery it’s normal to experience glare—particularly at night—due to swelling caused by the treatment itself.

Although microscopic in size, the impact of the laser pulses, which create a flap in the outer layer of the cornea and remove the tissue underneath, trigger the body’s inflammatory response—just like after an injury. This means fluid rushes to the area and accumulates with the intention of reducing sensation and accelerating healing.

As this is a natural bodily response, it’s unsurprising then that glare can happen to every patient, regardless of their original prescription, age, or individual experience.

How can glare affect me?

For most patients glare isn’t much of an issue. But as glare is intensified in low light conditions, patients that do experience it can have problems with their vision at night.

This makes it particularly important to take care when driving at night, arranging for alternative transport for your journey home after the procedure and the following days, while also using lubricated eye drops when necessary.

Read more about managing the effects of halos and starbursts at night.

Glare is most commonly experienced in the form of what’s known as ‘starbursts’—literally bursts of light which appear around bright light sources. As part of the eye’s healing process, starbursts are common and to be expected, lasting usually for a couple of weeks or months at most. If the problem persists over a longer period, you may require a follow-up procedure to correct your vision.

If you’d like to find out more about glare and the side effects of Laser Eye Surgery, or book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.