Night Vision After Smile Surgery

Night vision is an important aspect of our daily life and plays a crucial role in ensuring safety while driving, walking, or doing any other activity at night. However, for some people, poor night vision can be a major concern due to various reasons, such as eye diseases, age-related changes in the eyes, …..
and even certain medical procedures.

One such popular procedure is Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) eye surgery. SMILE is a minimally invasive laser eye surgery that has gained popularity in recent years due to its quick recovery time and high success rate. However, many patients have reported experiencing changes in their night vision after undergoing this procedure.

In this article, we will explore why this happens and what can be done to improve night vision after SMILE eye surgery.


Understanding Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE) Eye Surgery

Before delving into the effects of SMILE eye surgery on night vision, it is important to understand what the procedure entails. SMILE was introduced as an alternative to LASIK eye surgery. It involves the use of a femtosecond laser to create a small incision in the cornea and remove a piece of tissue known as a lenticule. This reshapes the cornea and corrects common vision problems such as nearsightedness with or without astigmatism.

The major difference between SMILE and LASIK is that LASIK involves creating a flap in the cornea, whereas SMILE does not. This means that SMILE is less invasive, has a shorter recovery time, and reduces the risk of complications such as dry eyes.


How Does SMILE Eye Surgery Affect Night Vision?

While SMILE eye surgery has proven to be highly effective in correcting vision problems, it has been reported that some patients experience changes in their night vision after the procedure. This includes difficulties with driving at night, seeing halos and glare around lights, and reduced overall clarity of vision.

The main reason for these changes is the alteration of the cornea’s shape during the surgery. The laser used in SMILE removes a small piece of tissue from the center of the cornea, which can lead to changes in how light enters the eye. This can cause distortions in vision, especially under low-light conditions.

Additionally, since SMILE involves creating a smaller incision compared to LASIK, it may not correct higher-order aberrations (HOAs) that affect night vision. HOAs are optical imperfections that can cause halos, glare, and reduced contrast sensitivity in low-light conditions. These are not always detected during pre-surgery examinations and may only become apparent after the surgery.


Improving Night Vision After SMILE Eye Surgery

If you are experiencing changes in your night vision after SMILE eye surgery, there are certain steps you can take to improve it:

  • Consult with Your Surgeon
    The first and most important step is to consult with your surgeon. They will be able to examine your eyes and determine the underlying cause of your night vision problems. If HOAs are found to be the cause, they may recommend additional procedures, such as wavefront-guided LASIK or PRK, to correct them.
  • Give Your Eyes Time to Heal
    It is important to remember that SMILE eye surgery, like any other medical procedure, requires time for the eyes to heal and adjust fully. It is common for night vision problems to improve gradually over a few weeks or even months after the surgery. Therefore, it is crucial to be patient and give your eyes time to heal.
  • Use Eye Drops as Prescribed
    Dry eyes are a common side effect of SMILE eye surgery, which can also affect night vision. Your surgeon will prescribe eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated and promote healing. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and use the eye drops as prescribed to prevent dryness and discomfort.
  • Avoid Driving at Night Initially
    It is advised to avoid driving at night for the first few weeks after SMILE eye surgery. This will give your eyes time to adjust and heal, reducing the risk of accidents due to poor night vision.
  • Use Nighttime Driving Aids
    If you must drive at night, consider using nighttime driving aids such as anti-glare glasses or tinted lenses. These can help reduce glare and improve contrast sensitivity, making it easier to see in low-light conditions.
  • Follow Post-Operative Instructions Carefully
    Compliance with the post-operative instructions given by your surgeon is of utmost importance. This includes avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes, wearing protective eyewear, and attending follow-up appointments. These measures will promote proper healing and reduce the risk of complications that may affect night vision.


Keep Your Night Vision Clear With SMILE Eye Surgery

SMILE eye surgery is a highly effective procedure for correcting common vision problems. However, it can have temporary effects on night vision due to changes in the cornea’s shape and HOAs. By following the tips mentioned above and consulting with your surgeon, you can improve your night vision after SMILE eye surgery and enjoy clear, crisp vision both during the day and at night.
Remember to be patient, as it may take some time for your eyes to adjust and heal fully after the surgery. Your eye health is important, and taking necessary precautions can help ensure a successful outcome. Keep your eyes healthy and enjoy the benefits of improved vision with SMILE eye surgery. Happy seeing!


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