While LASIK surgery is safe and effective, occasional side effects may develop. In most cases, they clear up within a few weeks after the LASIK procedure, and very few patients consider them to be a problem or concern. The side effects may include dry eye, fluctuating vision and glare/halos around lights. These are not unusual nor concerning, since they get better with time as things stabilize and your visual quality improves.
Dry Eye is a condition in which your tears don’t adequately lubricate and nourish the ocular surface. Dry Eye can cause symptoms such as burning, stinging, grittiness and irritation, as well as blurriness or fluctuating vision. LASIK surgery can temporarily decrease the amount of tears your eyes produce as they heal. Some patients experience very little dry eye after surgery; others may experience some dryness for up to several months after surgery. Either way, artificial tear lubricants are effective at managing the symptoms.
Glare means you have difficulty seeing in the presence of bright light, like that from sunlight or car headlights while driving at night. Glare occurs when too much light enters your eye and affects your eye’s ability to manage it. You may notice this side effect at night after LASIK surgery, but it tends to improve within a few days to a few weeks.
Most noticeable at night, halos are bright circles that surround a light source, such as headlights and lamps. Halos, also known as “ghosting,” may occur in the immediate healing period after LASIK surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon uses a laser to create a flap in the cornea, which is the clear front surface of the eye. A different laser then reshapes the contour of the cornea before the flap is repositioned. Some temporary, slight swelling and trace inflammation within the reshaped cornea can cause light to scatter as it enters your eye, leading to the halo effect.
Mild fluctuations in vision may also occur during the healing process. Light sensitivity and a decrease in visual contrast at night have also been mentioned. In almost all cases, the side effects of LASIK surgery fade rapidly as the eyes heal.
To better understand the benefits of LASIK and learn whether you’re a candidate, call (309) 243-2400 to request your free LASIK consultation today or sign up for one of our upcoming LASIK seminars.