LASIK and Sensitivity to Light

By Francis Clark M.D. on September 21, 2018

LASIK treatmentLaser vision treatment has become increasingly popular during the last several decades, due in large part to its proven effectiveness. The most popular form of laser vision treatment is LASIK. LASIK surgery alters the shape of the cornea to eliminate the imperfections that are responsible for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

LASIK surgery has one of the highest rates of success and patient satisfaction, with over 90 percent of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better. In addition, LASIK is extremely safe and has a low risk of complications. Still, LASIK is a surgical procedure, so patients should expect to experience some side effects as they recover from treatment.

Here, we discuss LASIK and light sensitivity, an issue our Philadelphia, PA patients may deal with in the days and weeks following treatment.

How Severe Is Light Sensitivity?

In the first few days after LASIK treatment, light sensitivity can be quite severe. Patients are likely to experience noticeable sensitivity if they are outdoors in the sun or looking at a bright source of light, including a computer or television screen.

We provide patients with dark lenses that should be worn over the eyes when they leave our office after LASIK treatment, as well as any time that they are outside during the first few days of LASIK recovery.

Patients should be aware that light sensitivity is not just an issue during the day. While the eyes recover from LASIK treatment, they will have a difficult time processing the contrast between bright lights and a dark night sky. As a result, many patients experience issues with night vision. It is normal for sources of light at night to be surrounded by halos or glares.

How Long Does Light Sensitivity Last?

Like other LASIK side effects, light sensitivity is only temporary. Most patients notice a gradual improvement in light sensitivity in the first several days following treatment.

By the end of the first week of recovery, it is unlikely that patients will be bothered by light sensitivity during the day. Light sensitivity at night tends to last a little longer, since it is more difficult for the eyes to process contrast. The time it takes for night vision issues, such as glares and halos, to resolve varies from patient to patient, but it is common for it to take a few weeks for the eyes to fully adjust.

Minimizing Discomfort

Although side effects are unavoidable after LASIK surgery, there are some tips and tricks that can help patients minimize discomfort from light sensitivity. Below are some steps for managing the discomfort caused by light sensitivity:

  • Wear provided lenses or other dark glasses whenever you are outdoors
  • Minimize time in front of a computer or television screen
  • Avoid driving at night until the eyes have fully healed
  • Keep the eyes moist using artificial tear drops
  • Follow all provided post-op care instructions

Contact Us

LASIK surgery is a safe and effective procedure that can help you say good-bye to prescription lenses. If you would like to learn more about LASIK surgery and whether you are an ideal candidate for treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience. Call (215) 672-4300 to speak with one of our experienced team members at Ophthalmology Physicians & Surgeons.

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