LASIK Side Effects: Glare and Halos at Night

Glare and Halos after LASIK - Hudson Valley, NY

Jul 6, 2017 @ 09:00 AM — by Richard Gordon
Tagged with: Lasik | Eye Care |

Close-up of a patient’s eye after undergoing LASIKSince its inception, LASIK has been one of the safest and most reliable surgical procedures in the history of medicine. Over the past decade or so, however, technologies have emerged that have dramatically improved the safety profile of LASIK, increasing patient satisfaction rates in the process. With the advent of blade-free LASIK and the introduction of wavefront mapping technology, patients are now routinely able to achieve results that would have been unthinkable at the turn of the century.

Nevertheless, LASIK is a major surgical procedure and, as is the case with any form of surgery, it does have side effects. One of the most common side effects associated with LASIK is visual distortions that affect a person’s night vision. These distortions generally take the form of glare and halos after LASIK. During consultations at our Hudson Valley, NY practice, Palisades Laser Eye Center, Dr. Richard Gordon discusses this side effect with patients in detail so that they know exactly what to expect before committing to surgery. Fortunately, this is usually a temporary side effect that subsides relatively quickly after surgery, especially among patients who are excellent candidates for the procedure.

Are you a good candidate for LASIK? To find out, please schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Gordon today.

Why Are Glare and Halos a Side Effect of LASIK Surgery?

First, it should be noted that, while glare and halos are among the more common side effects of LASIK surgery, they are nowhere near as common as they once were. These symptoms of impaired night vision were once typical during the recovery stage of LASIK, as the flap created in the outermost layer of the cornea at the beginning of the procedure healed back into place. During the first few years of its availability to consumers, LASIK was a less customizable procedure, and blade-free LASIK was not yet an option. As a result, glare and halos were more common.

Now, bladeless technology allows corneal flaps to be created with greater precision, while wavefront technology allows the cornea to be reshaped so accurately that even the most intricate errors in shape - higher-order aberrations, which were once immeasurable - are accounted for. As a result, patients are far less likely to experience glare and halos, and those that do are likely to recover their night vision more quickly.

Indeed, according to a 2014 joint study conducted by the FDA, the National Eye Institute, and the Department of Defense, two groups of patients (one comprising military personnel, the other non-military) who underwent LASIK experienced fewer problems with glare and halos at night compared to when they were reliant on their glasses and contact lenses.

Among those rare patients who have lingering issues with glare and halos, most can improve their night vision through a LASIK enhancement.

Learn More about Glare and Halos after LASIK

If you would like to learn more about glare and halos after LASIK, please contact Palisades Laser Eye Center today.