The team at our McAllen laser vision correction center believes in enhancing vision and improving general wellness. Advanced LASIK eye surgery has proven quite effective as a means of addressing refractive error, allowing people to see clearly without the use of prescription glasses or contacts.
LASIK does have side effects as all surgeries do. One of these side effects is light sensitivity, which we'd like to discuss briefly right now.
Light Sensitivity and LASIK
After undergoing LASIK surgery, patients are likely to experience an acute sensitivity to light, particularly bright lights and sunlight. This is a common side effect following any sort of surgery that is performed on the eyes.
During LASIK surgery, a small flap is created in the cornea to allow a surgeon the ability to reshape the tissue using a laser. As your eyes are adjusting to the new contour of your cornea, it is common to experience light sensitivity as the eyes heal. Thankfully this is just temporary.
How Serious Is the Light Sensitivity?
The light sensitivity can be rather serious, particularly early on. Sunlight and bright lights can be very uncomfortable for LASIK patients, causing them to squint or cover their eyes from the direct light exposure. This is why LASIK patients are advised to avoid bright lights in the immediate aftermath of their surgery.
Issues with Glare, Halos, and Night Vision
In addition to light sensitivity at daytime, LASIK patients will note issues with contrast and vision at night when it comes to bright lights or bright colors. Glare and halos may be present around streetlights, traffic signals, and even just bright road signs. Night vision is often poor as well given a patient's diminished contrast sensitivity.
How Long Will Light Sensitivity Last?
Daytime light sensitivity issues will be their most pronounced in the first few days after LASIK surgery. By the end of the first week or so, patients should no longer experience discomfort from bright lights. Night vision issues will typically last a few weeks since it can take time for the eyes to heal and fully adjust to the new corneal contour.
Managing Light Sensitivity After LASIK
After undergoing LASIK, patients should consider wearing sunglasses when they are outdoors. The sunglasses will help shade the eyes from direct sunlight and reduce discomfort caused by bright lights in general. The sunglasses will also protect the eyes from pollen, dust, and irritants in the air which can cause irritation. A hat with a brim may also be recommended in addition to sunglasses to help shade the eyes.
When it comes to night vision issues following LASIK, patients are advised to be careful when traveling at night. In the first week or so, it may be ideal to avoid driving at night just so your night vision can improve through the healing process. This allows patients to avoid unnecessary risks following the surgery.
Follow Post-Op Instructions Carefully
After LASIK, be sure to follow all post-op instructions carefully. This will help ensure healing free from complications and will help prevent side effects from being too severe. Patients should also attend all post-op LASIK visits as scheduled so any issues that arise can be discussed with the LASIK surgeon.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
For more information about LASIK and how it can help you see clearly, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. We will work closely with you to help ensure optimal vision and wellness.