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LASIK and Night Vision
Serving Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond & nearby areas of Oklahoma
The popularity of LASIK is one feature that defines the late 90's. With the advent of LASIK, movies about the future stopped featuring individuals wearing glasses, no longer mentioning contacts, and fiction of the future takes for granted the fact that everyone over the age of 18 will have perfect vision in the centuries to come. The absolute perfection of LASIK surgery technique and its eventual proliferation throughout society is widely accepted without question as a fact of the future.
The one concern most frequently asked about by LASIK patients, however, is that of night vision problems after LASIK. Although this is a valid concern and has affected many LASIK patients, particularly prior to the new millennium, LASIK surgeons now understand what causes flares and halos in the vision of post-LASIK patients, and are more easily able to prevent it.
Halos and Flares
The two most common types of night vision complications seen after LASIK are halos and flares. Vision flares are the off-shoot of arms of light, and halos are a hazy ring around lights. Both cause particular trouble while driving, as they make it difficult to see past the headlights of oncoming cars. Halos and flares can be caused by other types of eye issues, like astigmatism, and are not solely contributed to LASIK surgery.
Instances of night vision problems after LASIK occur in only a small percentage of LASIK patients, although it is much more common for patients to experience night vision difficulty within the first 3 to 6 months of having had LASIK. Night vision trouble after LASIK has been greatly reduced by the understanding of what causes night glare after LASIK surgery.
Cause of Poor Night Vision After LASIK
The LASIK procedure hinges largely on an incision made to your cornea to create a round flap which is pulled back so the surface below can be ablated. Night vision glare is caused when the flap and ablation area are smaller than your fully-dilated pupil. Because your pupils dilate to their widest point in the dark, they are often fully or nearly fully dilated when you are driving at night, and may dilate to wider than the area affected by older LASIK lasers.
Some types of LASIK lasers can affect a wider area on your eye, and can better blend the edge of the affected area. A pre-screening to determine the widest dilation diameter of your pupil can also determine whether or not you are at risk for night vision glare after LASIK with a certain type of laser.
To learn more about LASIK and its benefits, or to ask questions about risks, please contact Hummel Eye Associates today, serving Oklahoma City and surrounding areas of Oklahoma.