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LASIK and Sensitivity to Light After Surgery

The team at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. always ensures that patients know what to expect from surgery from beginning to end. This is particularly important with LASIK surgery, which can address refractive errors and enhance your vision, reducing your dependence on corrective lenses in the process.

Following LASIK surgery, problems with light sensitivity are common. Let’s look at why these temporary side effect occur, how long they last, and what you can do to minimize discomfort and inconvenience.

Why does light sensitivity happen after LASIK?

During LASIK surgery, a small flap is created on the clear portion of the eye, known as the cornea. Specifically, the flap is created in the topmost part of the cornea, which is known as the epithelium. The flap is pulled up and a laser is used to reshape the cornea. This ensures that the light passes through the eyes properly and focuses on the retinas.

When this revision to the cornea is done, the eyes will naturally be sensitive to light until the cornea is fully healed. This occurs with any sort of eye surgery. Patients are likely to experience the following issues listed below with regard to light sensitivity after LASIK.

Discomfort with Sunlight and Bright Lights

One of the most common light sensitivity issues experienced after LASIK involves acute sensitivity to daylight and bright lights. When outdoors or near harsh light such as reading lamps, patients may experience noticeable discomfort.

Glare, Halos, and Starbursts

Glare, halos, and starbursts are other issues with light sensitivity that people are likely to experience after LASIK. This refers to distortions of light that happen around lights or bright objects, and they tend to be more noticeable at night or in low-light situations. For instance, headlights at night may have a noticeable halo or glare about them.

Problems with Night Vision and Low-Light Situations

In addition to glare, halos, and starbursts, people will also notice issues with seeing well at night or in dim rooms and environments. The light distortions noted above may seem more pronounced as noted, and objects in the dark may be more difficult to discern.

How long does light sensitivity last?

Daytime light sensitivity tends to be the shortest-lasting light sensitivity issue, usually lasting about a week or so. Issues with glare, halos, and starbusts may take a few weeks to resolve, though patients will notice these matters subsiding with time.

Night vision problems after LASIK may persist for some time as the corneas continue to heal. Within a few weeks, patients should notice improvements in overall quality of night vision.

It should be noted that advances in custom LASIK technology have led to significant reductions in the severity and duration of these issues with light distortions and night vision.

Tips for Dealing with Light Sensitivity Issues After LASIK

To minimize daylight sensitivity and discomfort, patients should wear sunglasses when they are outdoors. A hat with a brim is advisable as well to help reduce the amount of light that enters the eyes.

When it comes to night vision issues, patients should avoid driving at night given the danger it can pose to themselves and others. For the first week or so, patients should be driven by others, take public transit, or hire cabs simply as a safety measure. As night vision improves, patients can return to normal activities and driving.

Learn More About Laser Vision Correction

For more information about LASIK and how it can help you see clearly without the aid of glasses or contacts, be sure to contact our eye care center today. We at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. look forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent results through the latest eye care techniques using state-of-the-art technology.

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