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Halos and Starbursts After LASIK Eye Surgery

  • Published: 2012-01-30 (Revised/Updated 2015-04-19) : Author: Doctors for Visual Freedom
  • Synopsis: Most LASIK complications are short-term and cause only mild discomfort and the results of your laser eye surgery can provide freedom from glasses and contacts for years.

Quote: "LASIK has been safely performed on millions of Americans over the past 20 years, and a majority of patients enjoy vision that is 20/20 or better."

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How Long Do Starbursts and Halos Last After LASIK Surgery

LASIK - A surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses. LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an Excimer laser. A mechanical microkeratome (a blade device) or a laser keratome (a laser device) is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middle section of the cornea. Pulses from a computer-controlled laser vaporize a portion of the stroma and the flap is replaced. There are other techniques and many new terms related to LASIK.

Halos, starbursts, and glare are all potential complications with LASIK surgery.

These instances can be caused by two factors:

Your risk for corneal flap problems may be reduced with blade-less LASIK, but this complication is still possible no matter what type of LASIK you choose to have.

Fortunately, most people experience this rare side effect for little more than 30 days. During this period, you will have follow-up visits with your eye doctor. Make sure you inform him of any difficulties you are having, and let him know if they last for more than one month. In rare cases, these issues may require LASIK enhancement surgery, or the use of prescription eye-wear to completely correct.

Other Potential LASIK Complications

In addition to glare, halos, and starbursts, other potential risks and complications with LASIK surgery include:

The good news is that LASIK complications are rare.

LASIK has been safely performed on millions of Americans over the past 20 years, and a majority of patients enjoy vision that is 20/20 or better. In fact, according to a study conducted by the United States military, it was found that only one in 112,500 patients required medical disability after receiving LASIK surgery. LASIK has proven so effective, the US Air Force actually requires it for their pilots.

Other studies have found that in the 1990s, 5% of patients experienced complications that required LASIK enhancement. That number has dropped below 1 percent in recent years due to advancements in LASIK technology and techniques. These studies have found the risk for long-term complications are greatly diminished when you select an experienced LASIK surgeon for your procedure.

Serious complications are rare, but immediate and temporary complications may be more common.

It is estimated that 50 percent of LASIK recipients will experience dry eyes. After your surgery, your doctor will either supply you with eye drops, or suggest an over the counter brand that he has found particularly helpful. With the use of eye drops, you will be able to keep your eyes properly moisturized during this period.

Most LASIK complications are short-term and cause only mild discomfort. However, the results of your LASIK can provide you freedom from glasses and contacts for a number of years. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have with your eye doctor prior to your surgery, and to carefully weigh the pros and cons of this procedure before you make your final decision.

If you live in or around Arlington Heights or Chicago, Illinois and would like to learn more about the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery, please visit the website of Doctors for Visual Freedom for additional information -

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