When it comes to effective solutions for refractive errors, one of the most popular options out there is laser eye surgery. Millions of people have benefited from laser treatments such as LASIK, PRK, and LASEK, all of them allowing patients to see clearly without the aid of corrective lenses (i.e., glasses and contacts).
While LASIK is quite effective and there are plenty of success stories out there, the surgery does have side effects. It’s important that patients understand the nature of these side effects so that they can have realistic expectations about the surgery and the entire recovery process. We want to focus on one of those side effects right now: light sensitivity.
About LASIK Surgery
It helps to cover some basics about LASIK surgery first. LASIK is a refractive surgery that involves the reshaping of the cornea using a laser. To reshape the cornea properly, a flap must first be created on the corneal surface. Through this flap, the cornea can then be reshaped as needed.
Issues with Light Sensitivity After LASIK
When a patient heals after LASIK, he or she will notice that they are particularly sensitive to bright lights. This goes for direct sunlight and bright bulbs indoors and outdoors. This is a natural part of healing.
Why do patients experience light sensitivity after LASIK?
When a patient undergoes Lasik, the eyes will need to adjust to the new corneal contour. In addition, the eyes will also be healing from the creation of a corneal flap. During this period of adjustment and recovery, light sensitivity and contrast sensitivity will be affected.
In addition to bright light causing discomfort, patients will notice issues with glare, halos, starburts, and other light perception issues as they heal.
How long will these issues with light sensitivity last?
In general, light sensitivity issues will last for a few weeks, with sensitivity diminishing with each day. Significant problems with light sensitivity should be resolved after a week or so, however, so patients will not notice major discomfort from bright light by that time even though their contrast sensitivity may still be affected.
The vast majority of patients will have healed and adjusted to their new vision by the end of six week to two months, and light sensitivity/perception will often return to normal.
Tips for Dealing with Light Sensitivity
In those first days after LASIK surgery, it is of the utmost importance that patients avoid direct sunlight and bright lights as much as possible. This will help reduce discomfort and help with the healing process.
Patients are advised to wear sunglasses in order to reduce problems with light sensitivity. Wearing a hat with a brim along with sunglasses is also a good idea as this helps block excessive light from the eyes.
In the first 24 to 48 hours after LASIK, it’s a good idea for patients to avoid using the computer, playing video games, and watching television. These can all cause eye strain. Concentrate on resting your eyes instead to improve and hasten the healing experience.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
If you would like more information about LASIK surgery and how it can be of great benefit to you and your needs, be sure to contact our LASIK surgery center serving Chicago, Highland Park, and Hoffman Estates today. Our entire team of eye care specialists looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve optimal vision through smart and informed eye care decisions.