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Night vision questions for everyone - to help re-assure a post lasik surgery patient


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted December 27 2004 - 05:06 AM

I recently had Lasik surgery for my eyes. My sight is now better than 20/20 but I have some concerns about my night vision. Please answer these questions no matter how good or bad your vision is. Please only answer if you are sure. I didn't notice these until they were pointed out to me. Thanks!

1. At night, take a look at a bright streetlight or a light in a large parking lot. Do you see a glow/halo (small or large) around it? Any starburst patterns?

2. Driving at night, do you see any glare, halos, or starbursts around the head lights or tail lights? How about traffic lights?

3. On a clear night, look at the moon and stars. Does the moon have a halo/glow around it? Do the stars appear as dots or do they have a small starburst pattern to them?

4. In a dark room, look at a bright LED on/off light on electric equipment. Does it have any glare/starburst coming from it?

5. Do you wear glasses/contacts? If, not do you have good vision? Have you had any eye surgery?

#2 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted December 27 2004 - 05:13 AM

By the way, I will give my own answers to these questions after a couple of others have. I just want to hear from some other people first.

Thanks!

#3 of 22 Scott Dautel

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Posted December 27 2004 - 05:30 AM

Tom:

Considering your location, I'm guessing you went to Kremer Eye Center; IMHO, the best choice in the eastern USA. I had Lasik done about 4 years back at Kremer and continue to be 100% satisfied with better than 20/20 vision. I'm now 42 yrs old.

Halo's and starbursts at night are quite typical for the first 60-90 days following surgery. Over time, I found that they diminish to virtually zero. Very rarely, I still see mild starbursts while driving at night, but only if and when my eyes are extremely tired. This is really a non-issue and affects many aged eyes regardless of previous eye surgery.

If your more than 2 weeks post-op, and dont feel you are experiencing extreme dry-eyes, you're likey in the typical recovery/healing phase. Rest assured, things will return to normal in a few months. Be patient and give it time. You'll likely be thrilled with the long term benefit.

I will warn you that there have been some nasty arguments here at HTF re lasik surgery. There are also numerous websites highlighting horror stories, which are quite rare. Regardless, it's a done deal for you and it sounds like things are normal.

Most important --> If you have any doubts or questions, contact you doctor. I'm sure they'll be most helpful.

#4 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted December 27 2004 - 05:58 AM

No, I didn't have it done at Kremer. I'll let you know by email where I had it done if you would like. The surgeon is rated higher than Kremer for the area though.

I know that the halos/starbursts are normal for the first 60-90 days, but I am at 67 days right now.

I'm glad to hear that your surgery went well. I am hoping for the best with mine. I wish I never read the horror story websites. Thats when my anxiety began.

I don't want to expect more than I should. That is why I am hoping that I can get some specific answers to the concerns I have from a wide range of people.

Thanks!

#5 of 22 Richard Travale

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Posted December 27 2004 - 06:03 AM

I wear glasses (hope to get lasik sometime in the near future).
I do experience some haloing around lights at night. Nothing harsh, just something I've learned to live with.
By the way, I am near sighted with an astigmatism.

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#6 of 22 Andrew W

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Posted December 27 2004 - 11:03 AM

Yes to most of the above. It was about 3 months for the night vision to get good and it was probably still improving up to 6 months.

Now day and night are fine for me but twilight is when it is most difficult to make out objects.
Andrew in Austin

#7 of 22 Dave Morton

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Posted December 28 2004 - 01:25 AM

I had my lasik about 3 years ago and I see no halos or effects that you ask of. I actually saw more bursts with contacts and didn't realize it until I had lasik and the bursts disappeared.
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#8 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted December 28 2004 - 02:11 AM

Thanks for the answers everyone. I still hope to hear from some more people.

Dave -
When driving, if you look at the headlights and traffic lights that are further away, you don't see any glare at all? I don't have much of a glare/starburst on closer cars, but the ones that are 150ft and beyond have an "X" pattern coming from them as do streetlights and bright house lights. Other people with 20/20 vision without surgery say that they see these effects too. How long after your surgery did the side effects last?

Andrew -
What type of surgery did you have and how long ago?
You said Yes to the questions above. Do you consider the nighttime glare you see "normal"?

#9 of 22 Andrew W

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Posted December 28 2004 - 03:08 PM

Tom,

I had lasik in Jan of 2001. I originally had some halo effect. I would rate the severity at equal to a 12+ hour day with contacts. At no time was I ever incapable of driving.

I can now see fine at night and feel my vision is pretty close to what a normal 20/20 person sees. I have discussed and compared this with my wife before. There's no way to know for certain since I had worn glasses or contacts for 30 years previously.

Your eyes IS a lens and lens flare and some star effect are normal under some light conditions.
Andrew in Austin

#10 of 22 Randy Tennison

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Posted December 30 2004 - 02:30 AM

I had lasik also in 2001, and have no problems with night vision. Best thing I ever did for myself!

Your eyes have to heal, so even at 67 days, don't stress. They are still healing.

If it is really bad, talk with your doctor.
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#11 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted December 30 2004 - 03:12 AM

Thanks for the replys. I moved up my 3 month appointment by a couple of weeks to talk to the doctor a little sooner and see how I should be at this point. I have read that in some cases glare doesn't get better after the 3rd month. Other things I read says it gets better over 6 month, 9 months, Etc. Unfortunately, I am an engineer type and analyze everything...

By the way, here is how I answered the questions above on how I see today:
1. Bright streetlight - Large halos close by, smaller further away. Not much starbursting close up, a five thick lined star/glare that gets worse as you get further away.

100 watt bulbs and electric christmas candles in windows have star patterns from across the street.

2. Small halos around all headlights/tail-lights. Bad glare on lights starting at 100 feet and getting worse as you get further back. Glare with headlights during daytime too. Can't tell if lights are square or circle.

Traffic lights - Red/Yellow have slight glare. Green has HORRIBLE glare in a five line star pattern. Green arrows have enough glare that I can't tell which way the arrow points till I get to the intersection.

3. Moon has halo (but it always had a little). Stars are all small "X"s instead of dots.

4. Most bright led lights have some glare. Some have large x patterns out of them. LED "rings" (like XBOX power indicator) and clocks have a slight ghost above it.

Hopefully it goes away with some more healing. Let me know if any of this sounds familiar or even the way things should be.

Thanks.

#12 of 22 Lee L

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Posted January 02 2005 - 02:46 AM

My wife had it done in 1999 and she has some of the symptoms you mentioned, though she says that they are no worse than what she experienced with glasses or contacts. Since she was about 20/400 without correction, she could not see without some form of distortion anyway and would do it again. She did have slightly larger pupils and was in the risk group for these types of issues and the Doctor at the Duke Eye Center told us before hand.
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#13 of 22 Hugh Jackes

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Posted January 03 2005 - 01:39 AM

LAsik in August of 2003. I have the very slightest amount of haloing of green lights, so minimal that I have to look for it to notice it.
I have learned that some pain cannot be healed, but must be endured. I believe our Higher Power will help us to endure and find peace. I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable and he is taken from me-yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."
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#14 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted January 03 2005 - 12:51 PM

I talked to the doctor today and she told he not to worry at least until the next appointment in 3 months. I changed my eye drops back to vials (no preservatives) and things have been a little better since then. Only the bright stars have "X"s through them and headlight glare is better a little further away than before.

Green still has a glare and lights in the distance still have a little glare, but I will see how things go in the next couple months.

#15 of 22 John Miles

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Posted January 04 2005 - 05:26 AM

I have very large pupils (about 8 mm in a dark room, which I measured preoperatively by holding a ruler up to my eye and shooting it with a flash camera), so I figured I would be trading off some night-vision quality when I had LASIK last May. I'd worn toric soft contacts for 15 years, and needed to lose them due to increasing corneal neovascularization. Glasses were not an option -- I'd rather stumble around half-blind without them.

Bright light sources looked pretty bad for the first couple of months, but I was OK driving at night after the first couple of weeks. The glare/starburst/halo effects were not particularly comforting, but not debilitating either. By 3-4 months post-op, I would have described the effect as "looking through very dirty contacts."

At this point, 8 months downrange, I'd say it's like looking through slightly-dirty contacts. I never had problems watching TV or movies or using a PC in dark room, but as you discovered for yourself, bright-red LEDs looked pretty scary until fairly recently.

All in all, things went about like I expected, and I'm very happy with the results so far. LASIK is really a process, not a procedure, and you probably need to give it some more time to settle down. Remember, your eyes weren't perfect before the operation, and they're not perfect now.

It was certainly the right decision for me, but if I were, say, an airline pilot or someone else who had to rely on perfect night vision at all times, I wouldn't necessarily be a happy camper. But in that case, I wouldn't have opted for the surgery in the first place, given my large pupils and challenging (OD=-5.25 -1.50x5cyl, OS=-6.00 -2.50x180cyl) prescription.

#16 of 22 John Miles

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Posted January 04 2005 - 05:32 AM

Quote:
I changed my eye drops back to vials (no preservatives) and things have been a little better since then.

Since it's been a couple months since surgery, you should probably make a serious effort to wean yourself from the eyedrops. It will be very difficult, because eye drops are just about the most addictive substance on Earth. That may help with some of the symptoms -- it did in my case.

#17 of 22 Philip Hamm

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Posted January 04 2005 - 06:59 AM

I see starbursts in these situations if my glasses are dirty. Never halos and never starbursts with clean glasses.... Unless I haven't washed my car windows, then I see starbursts from things also.

The lasik websites are not just for the "worst of the worst". There are also lots of people who have very small problems like your slight case of GASH, and even complete success stories as well. I'd recommend www.surgicaleyes.org - don't be too horrified by the people blinded and extremely impaired by this procedure, there are plenty of people who have had good results and good docs there too.

It's possible that everything will be fine down the road. But don't be surprised if you're permanently impaired either. Personally I'd never do the procedure on my eyes, I'm too averse to risk.
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#18 of 22 Tom_Mack

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Posted January 04 2005 - 08:58 AM

Philip - I wouldn't call it impaired. The problem isn't that major at all, it is just noticable because I didn't have the glare as bad with glasses, so I am a little distracted. Actually, if I stick my glasses on right now the glare goes back to the level I had pre-surgery (but of course everything is smaller). I could have had this glare with pre-surgery just never noticed because the glasses removed it.

John - So eye drops hinder the healing process? I was using them more often because I assumed they were helping the process. I'm glad to hear of your recovery. Hearing of another slow recovery gives me less to worry about. Things seem to be changing for the better, just slowly.

I'm happy with the decision. I liked contacts because they gave me more realistic view of the world than glasses (which seemed more flat/movie like), but the contacts made my eyes itch/ache after a few days of wearing them. I could actually see a little better using glasses over contacts, but didn't like the "through a glass window" view. Glasses also gave me a headache because of the pressure on my nose.

#19 of 22 John Miles

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Posted January 04 2005 - 09:18 AM

Quote:
John - So eye drops hinder the healing process? I was using them more often because I assumed they were helping the process. I'm glad to hear of your recovery. Hearing of another slow recovery gives me less to worry about. Things seem to be changing for the better, just slowly.

In my opinion... yep. There is no adequate artificial substitute for natural tears, which contain all sorts of agents that promote healing. Your doctor should be the ultimate authority on when you stop using the drops. However, I have never heard of anyone being told to keep using them past the one-month mark in the absence of a serious dry-eye condition.

Again, it is not going to be easy for you to stop using them. Your own tear production has been suppressed not only by corneal-nerve damage caused by the surgery, but by the constant availability of additional moisture. You may not be able to quit cold-turkey, but you should at least try to slack off over the next couple of weeks.

#20 of 22 TomK

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Posted January 04 2005 - 11:27 PM

Tom,

I had Lasik about 10 months ago. Overall, the best thing I ever did for myself. I do have a problem with night vision; starbursts, etc. I knew that because of my age, 45, that there would be a change but I decided to go ahead anyway. I have a pair of glasses that that I wear for driving at night. They are a very slight corrective lens to help with the night vision problem. It's no big deal, I just lose them all the time because they are not on my face all the time Posted Image
Being able to go Jetskiing and swimming with my kids without the glasses hassle is the best!

Tom





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