Side effect: Seeing halos around images
Apart from when admiring one of the many depictions of angels, you can reasonably expect not to see a glowing halo of light in your field of vision.
But if you have ever had or are planning to have Laser Eye Surgery, you might of heard of another type of halo—one which you don’t associate with benevolent beings from heaven.
Halos as a Side Effect of LASIK
Halos are one of two light-related side effects which can temporarily affect your vision following LASIK surgery. ‘Starbursts’— the name used to describe the glare around lights—is the second side effect which can often accompany Halos.
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The term ‘halo’ describes the rings which may appear around bright lights and light sources. Along with starbursts, they are one of the more common side effects to LASIK surgery—and for many, a natural part of the recovery process.
Why Do Halos Occur After LASIK Surgery?
One of the first steps in LASIK surgery involves creating an ultra thin flap in the outer layer of the cornea or ‘epithelium’. The exposed area is then treated and the flap returned to its original position.
Much like other organs in the body, after receiving such treatment your eyes there will be a small amount of swelling just as you would expect to occur after surgery in any other part of the body. As a result of this, during the healing process the way in which you perceive and view light can change and result in the distortions in your vision known as halos and starbursts.
Can You Reduce The Chance of Halos?
Halos can be an inconvenience—particularly when working in conditions with bright artificial lighting. But thankfully they usually only last a few weeks, and in addition there are a few things that can be done to help reduce their strength and severity.
Seek clinics which have thorough initial consultations and only use the latest technology.
At the heart of Laser Eye Surgery is technology. With every new development and improvement in the equipment used in treatments comes greater performance and of course greater safety.
This is important not just for conducting the procedure itself, but for accurately assessing refractive errors prior to surgery. Making sure the initial diagnosis is as accurate as possible eliminates any unnecessary complications during or post surgery. Here at London Vision Clinic, we use the Artemis—the most accurate corneal scanner in the world—to ensure a thorough and accurate assessment of even the most complex refractive errors.
Imperative to the success of the operation, the surgeons experience and expertise is at the centre of your assessment. Knowing your eyes inside and out is what they are there for, and therefore the more time they are able to spend with you the better.
Take extra care when looking at bright lights.
Any good surgeon will make sure you are equipped with the knowledge to take best care of your eyes. That includes providing a set of personal guidelines to follow during the recovery process.
If you are experiencing halos, one such guideline may be to wear sunglasses when you are in bright environments for an extended period of time. This can help to reduce the severity of the halos and make for a less disrupted field of vision.
If you happen to have trouble with halos at night, it’s often advised to avoid driving and instead use public transportation—or better yet have a friend or family member on hand to give you a ride!
If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about the potential side effects of LASIK, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.