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What Causes Night Time Side Effects After Laser Eye Surgery?
And Can They Be Treated?

Immediately after Laser Eye Surgery, every patient will experience night glare. However, it’s not so much a side effect, but rather a key part in the eye’s healing process. The effects you notice to your vision at night are a result of swelling in the cornea, triggered by the procedure to accelerate the eye’s recovery.

Therefore this happens to every Laser Eye Surgery patient—regardless of original prescription, age, individual experience, treatment method etc.

Mr Carp explains the effects of night glare after Laser Eye Surgery

Mr Glenn Carp, expert laser eye surgeon at London Vision Clinic, explains it takes approximately three months for this swelling to settle. After this time period most patients will get very little night vision glare interrupting their vision. However, if patients still have residual night vision glare after this time, testing can be performed to find out where that night vision glare is originating from and determine what can be done to resolve it.

Managing and reducing night time side effects of Laser Eye Surgery

It’s a fact that very few people develop side effects from Laser Eye Surgery.

Of those who do, problems such as glare and halos which affect night vision are among the most common. There are several reasons for this.

If the laser did not change the shape of your eye enough during your first procedure, you may still be slightly short or long-sighted and/or still have a minor astigmatism. A follow-up procedure or wearing glasses at night can help.

The size of your pupils can be another cause of glare and halos. When in low light conditions, if a patient’s pupils dilate (open) beyond the area of the cornea that the laser has treated during Laser Eye Surgery, it can cause glare and halos.

A good laser eye surgeon who conducts a thorough assessment can prevent this by accurately measuring your dilated pupil size before surgery. Long before the procedure, they would determine whether or not they can effectively treat a large enough area of your cornea with the laser. And if it’s not possible, they would disqualify you from surgery.

Finally, treatment can also cause glare and halos if the area of your cornea treated by the laser is off to one side (off-centred ablation). Again, choosing a properly qualified and experienced surgeon can help to minimise the risk of this complication from occurring.

This point cannot be overstated enough, as since to date, there is no entirely satisfactory solution to the night time effects of Laser Eye Surgery available (Using Wavefront technology—which comes as standard in our LASIK treatment—may significantly reduce the risk of glare, halos, and night vision difficulties).

If you’ve already had Laser Eye Surgery and you have glare and halos at night because of your pupil size, don’t fret—there are a few techniques that can help.

In general, some people find medicated eye drops really helpful at preventing their pupils from fully dilating.

In regards with having trouble driving at night, some patients find that keeping the overhead light on inside their car stops their pupils dilating so much as to affect their vision.

Get in touch with one of one Patient Care Coordinators to find out how your chances of night time side effects after Laser Eye Surgery are much lower with us.

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What Causes Night Time Side Effects After Laser Eye Surgery And Can They Be Treated? [video]

  1. Jasmine 22/11/2017 at 07:44

    Nice article for me!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Bethany Kingsley 22/11/2017 at 09:50

      You are welcome!

  2. Radhika 18/12/2018 at 22:15

    I already had a smile eye surgery ans its been 1 month now. I see halos around the car back lights when I drive during night.And it is very uncomfortable.Should I wait for another couple of months to recover?Or is this normal?

    • Chloe Lay 19/12/2018 at 15:51

      Hi Radhika,

      Thanks for your message. Halos and starbursts and a common side effect which should gradually improve over time. However, if you are experiencing discomfort, you should seek advice from the clinic that treated you to monitor this immediately.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  3. Jane McNeill 31/01/2020 at 19:39

    Hello, I had Cataract surgery on both of my eyes last year. I am having difficulty driving at night and it actually stop driving because of the halo’s and the glare that comes off of them. I am going in April this year to have laser surgery on my eyes the doctor said to help clean up. I was just Wondering if this is a common practice and if it would clear up the halos. Thank you

    • Chloe Lay 12/03/2020 at 10:18

      Hi Jane,
      Laser eye surgery can only correct your refractive error, your prescription. We can’t comment on the symptoms you are experiencing without seeing your eyes for a full eye examination.
      If you want to chat with our team further, you can call them on 020 7224 1005.
      Kind Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

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