For many patients, LASIK is a life changing experience. The procedure provides clear vision and freedom from the confines of glasses and contact lenses.
However, like any surgery, LASIK is not without risks. Rarely, patients experience mild post-operative symptoms that can be uncomfortable for a few days. One of the common symptoms is temporary sensitivity to light.
In this post, Dr. Ernest Kornmehl of Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates discusses sensitivity to light after LASIK, and how to minimize the effects.
Understanding Why the Eyes Are Sensitive to Light
LASIK patients may notice increased sensitivity to natural light and indoor light during the day and/or at night. This occurs because LASIK modifies the eye’s tissues — both in the creation of the corneal flap and the sculpting of the underlying tissue — making the eyes more sensitive to stimuli as they heal. Indoor lighting, including electronic device screens and lamps, may bother the eyes. At night, glare or starbursts from streetlights or headlights may occur, and it can be difficult to discern objects in the dark (this is known as contrast sensitivity).
Sensitivity to light usually resolves on its own about a week after surgery. However, if it persists or worsens during that time, it should be brought to Dr. Kornmehl’s attention.
Minimizing the Effects of Sensitivity to Light
- Rest your eyes as much as possible. Refrain from watching television, playing on your smartphone or working on the computer for the first few days after your LASIK procedure. Instead, nap, queue up an audio book or listen to podcasts to give your eyes a rest.
- Avoid artificial light. Keep indoor lights off during the day and at night, and keep the lights dimmer than usual at night.
- Wear sunglasses when going outside. If you do go outside while your eyes are still healing, wear a hat with a brim and a pair of wraparound sunglasses with UV protection.
- Take public transportation or a ride share at night. If you notice your night vision is compromised, do not try to drive. Take a bus, cab or Uber when traveling at night.
Contact Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates
Most of our patients consider temporary sensitivity to light a small price to pay for clearer vision without glasses or contacts. To learn more about LASIK surgery and other common post-operative symptoms, please make an appointment with Dr. Kornmehl by emailing or calling our office.