How to Deal with Light Sensitivity After LASIK Surgery

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Here at Maida Custom Vision in Jacksonville, we always want to make sure that patients know the risks and benefits of any procedure they undergo. While it’s true that LASIK is a highly effective surgery that reduces dependence on glasses and contacts, it’s important that patients understand that there are side effects involved as well. Light sensitivity is one of the most common side effects that all LASIK patients face, and we’d like to look at this in a bit more detail right now.

Why do people experience light sensitivity after LASIK?

To answer this question, it helps to consider the basics of the LASIK procedure itself.

During LASIK, a flap is created in the epithelium, the frontal and topmost layer of the cornea. Through this flap, a laser is used to reshape and recontour the cornea. When this is done, light passes through the eye and focuses precisely on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye.

Since the LASIK procedure involves the reshaping of the corneas, it will affect the way the patient perceives light passing through the eyes. This will change as the eyes heal and as the patient adjusts to the reshaped of the corneas. This can be uncomfortable, but thankfully these light sensitivity issues will pass.

Daylight and Strong Lights Are Especially Bright

One of the most notable issues with light sensitivity is that sunlight can be especially irritating and painful. This is particularly true on very bright and clear days, when the level of discomfort may be too much to even stay outdoor for a few minutes. Harsh lights indoors can also be very uncomfortable, so keep that in mind when it comes to device screens and study lamps.

Night Vision Is Also Adversely Affected

Not only is your light sensitivity affected during the day. During nighttime, you will also experience issues with contrast and light perception. It may be hard to discern objects in the dark, and any lone streetlights or oncoming headlights can turn into starbursts or be glaringly bright.

How long will these light sensitivity issues last?

General light sensitivity during the day will last only a few days to one week, with the most pronounced daylight sensitivity experienced in the first two to three days. By the end of the first week, bright lights may be uncomfortable but much more tolerable than before.

Night vision issues take longer to resolve simply given the nature of night vision and the healing process. Most patients will notice improvements in night vision over the course of a few weeks, though general issues with night vision may last months until they are fully resolved.

Tips for Dealing with Bright Lights and Day Light

In order to deal with light sensitivity, the best tips to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors
  • Wear a hat with a brim to protect your eyes from sunlight
  • Avoid harsh or very bright lights indoors
  • Get a lot of rest in the first days after surgery

Tips for Dealing with Night Vision Problems

With regard to night vision problems, the best tips to consider are the following:

  • Use public transportation or get a ride when traveling at night
  • When you do begin driving again, drive cautiously on streets that are well lit
  • Ease into doing anything that involves driving at night

Learn More About LASIK Surgery

If you would like more information about LASIK surgery and how it can benefit you, it’s important that you contact our laser eye surgery center today. During your visit to Maida Custom Vision, we will be sure to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns in full.