How will my vision be at night or in low light after LASIK?
LASIK surgery is a well-known procedure where the surgeon uses lasers to correct refractive errors, known as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) astigmatism. While the surgeons can significantly benefit patients with this treatment, careful pre-procedural screening must be performed to detect any pre-operative risk factors that would increase patients’ risk for experiencing night-time symptoms. Below we will discuss the reasons for this and what can be done about it.
What is LASIK, and how does it work?
During LASIK surgery, the surgeon will use the laser to elevate the outer layer of the cornea. This will allow the inner cornea to be treated with another laser to improve its curvature to enter the retinas better (light-processing areas of the eyes).
What happens after LASIK?
As the eyes heal, patients may experience glare and haloes during the healing process. These typically improve over three to six months after the procedure. Custom treatment is essential to reduce the risk of glare and haloes after laser corneal surgery. The only two procedures that can be performed in a custom way are LASIK and PRK. While SMILE is a promising procedure, it can not be customized to each patient’s eye shape. It should, therefore, be avoided in patients who are concerned about preserving the quality of their vision, especially at night.
What are tests essential to detect predisposition to glare and haloes at night?
Five essential corneal tests are critical to detect patients who may be at risk for lingering glare and haloes after laser vision correction. These tests are topography, tomography, epithelial thickness mapping with widefield OCT, analysis of corneal higher-order aberrations, and Ocular Response Analyzer to assess the cornea’s biomechanics.
What is the takeaway?
LASIK is a giant leap forward in vision improvement technology, as it has helped millions to see more clearly without relying on contact lenses or glasses. Pre-procedural screening needs to be performed with five essential corneal tests to detect patients who may be at risk for lingering glare and haloes at night. Talk to your doctor to better understand the process and explanation of different laser vision correction technologies that should be used to provide the best outcome, both day and night.