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Why do I have decreased vision at night?

By Kristina Oneill on May 24, 2014

Why do I have decreased vision at night?

Many patients ask us about having refractive surgery and the possibility of decreased night vision post operatively.   Night vision is a common condition that affects many people prior to ever having LASIK or PRK.  Night vision complications after LASIK or PRK surgery are fairly uncommon due to the technology available today and your surgeon’s skill. However, there is a rare patient that will experience night vision problems after LASIK or PRK. The common complaint is that there is distorted vision is in the form of glare and halos around objects.  In many instances, the patient will experience functional daytime vision, but as soon as it gets dark out the patient feels that their visual acuity is not as clear.  The patient may notice a variety of visual issues ranging from an increase in glare from headlights to a general decrease in visual clarity.  Night vision is an insufficient adaption to darkness.  What happens is the pupil dilates at night, and more light is allowed into the eye.  With more light entering the eye, the patient will experience more sensitivity to light and also see more glare on light sources.

Night vision symptoms may be present during the day, too. They become more noticeable and bothersome at night. Some people are more prone to developing night vision problems after refractive surgery. Those patients who are can usually be identified before the surgery based on characteristics of their eyes. Ask about your own chances of risks or complications if you're considering LASIK or PRK.

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