What are the Common Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery?

Most people will see an improvement in their vision immediately after Laser Eye Surgery.

For those who have spent a lifetime wearing glasses and/or contact lenses for a severe or even mild refractive error, this new clarity of vision can be an overwhelming and joyous experience.

But like most experiences in life, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. After having Laser Eye Surgery, some people will also experience side effects.

Don’t let this put you off, though. Such side effects are mild, temporary, and perfectly natural responses that are part of the body’s own healing process.

Nevertheless, it can be useful to know what they are and how long they may last, so you can help your recovery to go as smoothly as possible and be enjoying your new-found visual freedom in no time.

The 3 Most Common Side Effects of Laser Eye Surgery:

Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity after Laser Eye Surgery is very normal, and usually settles within 12-24 hours.

Everyone’s eyes are different and heal at different rates, so some people can be more sensitive to lights than others for up to a few weeks. The majority of patients, however, find that this is a minor symptom, if they even notice it at all, and only need to manage it by wearing sunglasses on the day of surgery itself.

Halos and Starbursts

‘Halos’ are rings that appear around light sources, and ‘starbursts’ are more like a dispersed and star-like glare.

For some people, halos and starbursts are a part of their healing process after Laser Eye Surgery. As the surface of the cornea is re-shaped during Laser Eye Surgery, the way you perceive light changes. During this period of adjustment and healing, starbursts and halos can be experienced around both day and night, but typically not to a degree that they are disruptive.

Like all Laser Eye Surgery side effects, halos and starbursts are mild and temporary, lasting usually only a couple of weeks, and up to a few months in rare cases.

Dry Eyes

Most people will have dry eyes post Laser Eye Surgery. This is why we provide all our patients with lubricating eye drops, which tend to relieve any discomfort and make the dry eyes gradually disappear.

If you are at an increased risk of experiencing persistent dry eye after Laser Eye Surgery, then this will be determined at your pre-operative assessment and the manner through which it can be managed discussed with you in detail.

You will also be advised to avoid and reduce activities that may increase dry eyes in the following days. That means at least 24 hours without screens and alcohol. But the vast majority of people are back using their devices and working the next day, and celebrating with a vino or two not long after.

If you have any questions or concerns about the side effects of Laser Eye Surgery, drop us a comment below or get in touch with our friendly team of clinic coordinators.