The Connection between LASIK and Glare and Halos

March 17, 2015 — by Dr. Gregory Stainer
Tags: Lasik Eye Care

Graphic designs around a close-up shot of a blue eyeIf you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK refractive surgery can sharpen your eyesight so you can see clearly. LASIK involves modifying your corneal tissue with a laser so that light can pass through your eye properly, enhancing your vision. This procedure is typically very safe and effective, but it may take some time for your eye to adapt to your reshaped cornea. Most patients enjoy improved vision within just a few days of surgery, but some may experience visual disturbances for some time after surgery. The most common side effects are glare and halos, which both result from light sensitivity and usually subside within a few months. If you want to correct your vision at our Bakersfield practice, we will explain the link between LASIK and glare and halos, and discuss how we reduce your risk for these effects with our advanced technology. Read on to learn more about why these conditions occur, how we work to prevent them, and what to do if you experience them.

What Causes Glare and Halos?

During LASIK surgery, Dr. Stainer uses a powerful laser to create a circular flap in the patient’s corneas. Once he has moved the top layer of tissue aside, he adjusts the stromal tissue beneath it so that light can pass more accurately through the cornea for clearer sight. To complete the process, he replaces the flap, which heals back over the eye.  

Patients suffering from glare have difficulty perceiving contrasts in light and those who experience halos see fuzzy, diffused light around objects. Both of these issues occur when the eye has difficulty processing the light that enters it. LASIK can cause glare and halos in the following ways:

  • The eye may be swollen for several months while it heals
  • The pupil of the treated eye may become larger than the adjusted cornea when it dilates, causing glare and halos in low light 
  • The reshaping process could have been performed asymmetrically, causing an abnormal corneal shape

Glare and halos are most often only a temporary side effect as the eye recovers from surgery.

How We Lower Your Risks

We reduce our patients’ chances of experiencing glare or halos by performing LASIK surgery with some of the latest and most accurate technology. Dr. Stainer will use an Intralase™ femtosecond laser to create your corneal flap and the Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q excimer laser to reshape your tissue. We will also track your eye movements during the procedure and use Perfectpulse Technology® to adjust the energy of the laser beam for even greater precision. We also provide custom LASIK surgery, which means that before treatment, we will use light waves to create a 3D map of your eye. We will then transfer this information to the laser’s computer to guide your LASIK surgery and accommodate your unique ocular shape. This technology helps to prevent the errors that can lead to glare and halos.  

If You See Glare and Halos

If you do suffer from glare and halos after your LASIK surgery, you should take these symptoms seriously. Light sensitivity can lead to worsened night vision, making driving after dark potentially dangerous. Contact our office for advice if you begin seeing glare and halos.

To manage your symptoms, you can wear hats, visors, or sunglasses to protect your eyes from light. You can also use your car’s visor during the day to ease light sensitivity. We can prescribe eye drops or other medications to help your cornea heal, reduce swelling, and treat dryness. If your glare and halos do not begin to diminish after several months, you might need additional ocular treatments to resolve these conditions.

Enhance Your Vision with Precision

Please contact Southwest Eye Care and Laser to learn more about our sophisticated LASIK surgery techniques or schedule a consultation with Dr. Stainer.

Contact Us