What’s It Like To Drive At Night After LASIK?
There are many benefits to LASIK, but perhaps one of the most exciting aspects is the ability to see clearly while driving at night. This can be tough to imagine, especially for people with astigmatism, which can result in glares, halos, streaks, and general blurriness, making driving at night both difficult and dangerous.
If you’re considering LASIK, it’s normal to wonder what your vision will be like immediately after the procedure as well as in the following weeks as your eyes continue to heal. Below, we discuss what you can expect from your vision when driving at night post-LASIK, and how freedom from glasses and contacts makes it easier to get behind the wheel.
What To Expect From Night Vision After LASIK
LASIK (or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a very common vision correction procedure that can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The surgery involves reshaping the cornea to allow light to properly focus on the retina. It can significantly reduce or even eliminate dependency on glasses or contacts.
Many LASIK patients are surprised to see a difference in their eyesight immediately after their procedure, including their night vision. Your vision should continue to improve in the weeks that follow as your eyes heal.
Some of the ways LASIK can specifically improve night vision include:
LASIK can enhance the sharpness and contrast of your vision, allowing you to distinguish objects more clearly against a dark backdrop. This newfound clarity can make it easier to recognize road signs, pedestrians, and potential hazards when driving, especially at night.
Expanded peripheral vision
LASIK can enhance your vision field, enabling you to detect movement and activity on both sides. This adds an extra layer of safety to your night-time driving experience.
Reduced glare and halos
The advanced technology used in LASIK allows the surgeon to smooth the corneal surface, which can improve the eye’s ability to refract light, leading to enhanced night vision.
Many LASIK patients report a reduction in glares and halos around headlights and streetlights after their procedure.
Reduced Dry Eye
Dry eyes are more common in low lighting conditions – such as when driving at night – because the lack of ambient light reduces pupil size, thus decreasing tear production and increasing the risk of tear evaporation. Moreover, wearing contacts can cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms, as it reduces oxygen flow to the cornea, which can lead to increased tear evaporation and irritation.
LASIK can reduce or even eliminate your dependency on contact lenses. So, if you find that contacts bother you while driving at night, especially after a long day of wearing your lenses, LASIK can be a potential solution.
Although it’s normal to experience dry eyes following LASIK, this side effect is usually temporary and subsides in the days following your surgery as the eyes heal. What won’t go away, however, is the convenience that freedom from contact lenses can offer while driving.
When You Can Drive After LASIK
Some patients experience discomfort and/or blurred vision in the first few hours after their LASIK surgery. In addition, you may choose to take a sedative before your procedure. Therefore, we never recommend patients drive home from their procedure. Rather, we ask that you arrange a ride to take you home following your LASIK surgery.
Additionally, you should not plan to drive for at least 24 hours, or until you’re cleared by one of our clinical staff at your post-operative appointment.
One of the benefits of LASIK is that the recovery is often quick. Most of our patients are back to their normal routine within 24-hours, so it won’t be long until you’re back behind the wheel.
Don’t just wonder what your vision will look like at night after LASIK – see for yourself! Book a free consultation with LASIK MD today to confirm your candidacy and discover what vision correction procedure is right for you.