Sensitivity to Light After LASIK

January 9, 2019 — by Thomas Byrd, MD
Tags: Lasik Side Effects Light Sensitivity

A eye undergoing laser vision correctionMore and more people are turning to laser vision correction to enhance their eyesight. Custom LASIK surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, eliminating your need for glasses and contact lenses. This is why so many people in the greater Detroit, MI area have come to Dr. Thomas Byrd for help.

At Byrd Eye Clinic, we believe that providing full information about the side effects of LASIK is essential for patient satisfaction. With that in mind, we should note that temporary light sensitivity is normal after undergoing the procedure. Let’s cover some basics about light sensitivity and LASIK, and then offer tips on what patients can do to deal with these side effects.

What Happens During LASIK Surgery

During LASIK surgery, a refractive surgeon creates a small flap in the topmost layer of the cornea (the epithelium). Through this flap, a laser can be used to reshape the corneal contour, which improves the passage of light through the eyes.

Once the corneal reshaping is completed, the epithelial flap is set back down to heal.

Why Light Sensitivity Occurs

Light sensitivity is the result of your eyes adjusting to the new shape of the cornea. This can take a bit of time for you to get used to. In addition, LASIK surgery causes dry eye to occur as the corneal flap heals. This can contribute to the intensity of light sensitivity after LASIK surgery.

How Long Does Light Sensitivity Last?

For most LASIK patients, light sensitivity lasts just a few days. Patients will notice improvements in light sensitivity each day, until they no longer experience problems with bright lights or direct sunlight.

Rest Your Eyes After Surgery

One of the best ways to reduce the severity of immediate LASIK surgery side effects is to rest your eyes for the first day or so after the procedure. That means patients should avoid TVs, laptops, cellphones, tablets, and reading. Avoid all activities that can strain the eyes so you can give your eyes a chance to heal.

Keep Indoors If Possible

Direct sunlight can be harsh on the eyes in the first day or so after LASIK. Consider staying indoors as you heal to avoid light that can trigger discomfort.

Wear Sunglasses and a Hat with a Brim Outside

If you do need to go outside, protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun. Sunglasses and a hat with a brim are a smart idea to shield your eyes. In fact, consider sunglasses and a hat with a brim any time you are outside to help prevent cataracts.

Use Lubricating Eye Drops

Since dry eye is an issue after LASIK for several weeks, it’s important that you carry lubricating eye drops with you wherever you go. Liquid tears can help prevent light sensitivity, and they can also help reduce itchiness, irritation, and redness associated with dry eye attacks.

What If My Light Sensitivity Persists?

If your light sensitivity does not improve after a few days, be sure to speak with your eye surgeon as soon as possible. This could be the sign of a complication that requires professional attention.

Learn More About LASIK

For more information about LASIK and how it can benefit you, be sure to contact an experienced eye care specialist. The team at Byrd Eye Clinic is here to help you. You can reach our office by phone at (313) 383-1300.

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