Most people think that LASIK will improve their night vision. And yes, it will! But the question is: will you actually be able to see better at night?
The answer is maybe!
Not all LASIK patients will experience dramatic improvements in night vision—but some will. Nighttime vision depends on several factors, including the pre-LASIK condition of your cornea and lens, as well as other factors such as time since surgery and how much exposure you’ve had to bright light during recovery.
It depends on so many different things: how much light pollution is there where you live? Do you work outdoors? Are there specific activities at night that are important for your job or family life?
A free LASIK Consultation done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist (eye doctor) will help determine if LASIK would benefit your lifestyle needs before making a decision about having this surgery done.
When most people think about night vision and driving, they're actually thinking about halos and starbursts
These are caused by laser scatter, which is when the laser light that's supposed to be focused on your retina reflects off of particles in your eye instead. While this may sound like a problem with LASIK surgery, it's usually not. If you're getting halos or starbursts after getting LASIK (and many people do), it likely means that there are some other issues going on—probably related to how well your eyes focus at various distances and whether or not they're able to change shape enough while moving. The solution is usually as simple as asking your Ophthalmologist to make sure everything is working properly before driving at night again!
In order to see well at night, your pupil needs to dilate
Some people are just naturally blessed with a large enough eye size to see well in the dark. If you’re one of these lucky people, then you can stop reading now!
However, most people who have light-sensitive eyes will find that their pupils don't dilate enough to let in enough light when they're outside at night or even indoors in a poorly lit room. This is because your pupil size is generally determined by how bright it is around you (in other words: if there's little light around and your eyes need more light for easy viewing, your pupils will be small).
However, despite this natural limitation on pupil size—and depending on how much ambient lighting there actually is—your eyes may still seem to adjust well enough for clear nighttime viewing. The key here is that this small amount of adjustment does not always occur immediately; instead, it often takes some time before we become accustomed to darker conditions and our pupils dilate accordingly. This can happen within minutes after entering a dimly lit space or within seconds after being exposed to strong artificial lighting such as headlights while driving at night.
If you have a large pupil size—and it only needs to be larger than 6 millimeters wide—your eye surgeon will likely recommend that you wait until your pupils are smaller before having laser eye surgery
The size of your pupils is dependent on the amount of light available, which is why they're larger in the daytime and smaller at night. The distance between your iris (the colored part of your eye) and its edge defines this measurement. If you have large pupils, laser eye surgery may be riskier for you because it will be more difficult for your surgeon to tell what's going on inside your eyes during surgery.
The best way to get an accurate measurement is to use a ruler or special tool called a pupillometer—but there are other ways as well. This is something your doctor will discuss with you during your visit.
Understand the difference between seeing better at night and halos and starbursts when considering laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery is a big decision, but the benefits are well worth it. Before you make a decision, you need to understand the difference between seeing better at night and halos and starbursts when considering laser eye surgery.
Halo effects are caused by the laser cutting a flap in your cornea during preoperative treatment. This flap can affect how light reflects off of your cornea and affects how much light enters your eye for certain people. If you happen to be one of those people, then halo effects may become more prominent at night time because there is less light to reflect on your iris (the colored part of your eyes).
Starbursts are caused by the laser reshaping your cornea without cutting any flaps. The rounder shape allows more light into our eyes and can cause starbursts while driving or looking at lights after sunset/before sunrise.
If you're looking to see well at night, you don't necessarily need to be worried about halos and starbursts. You just need your pupil size to be smaller than 6 millimeters wide. The good news is that after laser eye surgery, most patients have no problem achieving this goal.Come to our next LASIKSeminar on December 1st at 5:30 and learn more about LASIK!