Halos and Glare: Disrupting Vision

News Title

Halos and Glare: Disrupting Vision

Light is the main source of vision. Typically, when light falls on objects, it is directed back into the eyes, enabling people to see properly. However, when the same light causes halos and glare, it can obstruct vision and lead to various issues. 

What are Halos and Glare?

Halos are bright rings of light that surround the source of light. Whereas, glare is the actual light which reaches the eyes and hinders the vision, instead of clarifying it. Halos can appear upon contact with the bright blaze, during the night, or even in a dim-lit room. In some cases, halos could also be an aftereffect of a cataract or LASIK surgery. And can often impact people who wear glasses or contact lenses for a long time.


A person might experience halos daily, such as people who engage in night-time driving, or professions that require a lot of photography. However, if a person experiences a sudden glare in vision, it could cause pain and disrupted images. In cases where the halos are accompanied by other symptoms, such as blurred vision, immediate eye care may be required.


What are the causes of Halos?

Halos occur when the light entering the eye is diffracted or bends, instead of falling straight on the eye surface. Generally, halos are the normal response of eyes towards bright lights. But in some cases, halos and glare could be due to eye conditions such as below:


  • Cataracts: A usual problem with age, cataracts cloud the lens of the eye, causing the light to diffract. This leads to the formation of halos, along with other symptoms, including double vision, blurry vision, a problem at night view, squinting, etc.
  • Cataract surgery: Halos often occur as a side effect of cataract surgery.
  • Fuch’s dystrophy: This condition, categorised by the swelling of the cornea, can cause a person to see halos.
  • Glaucoma: This eye issue occurs due to the damage of the optic nerve caused by the high pressure of the eye fluid. Glaucoma can also cause weakness, headache, nausea, blurred vision, etc.
  • Keratoconus: This problem occurs when the cornea eventually becomes too thin and stretches to form a corn-like bulge. 
  • Photokeratitis: This issue is caused when the eyes are exposed to excessive UV rays. In addition to halos, a person experiences headache, sensitivity to light, etc.
  • LASIK surgery: Halos can also occur as an aftereffect of LASIK surgery.
  • Dry eyes: Excessively dry eyes can make the surface irregular and cause the light to scatter, resulting in the formation of halos. 


That said, some other eye concerns that can result in lead to halos and glare include:


  • Nearsightedness, which causes far away objects to become blurry.
  • Farsightedness that leads to the blurred vision of the nearby objects.
  • Presbyopia progressively weakens the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects.
  • Astigmatism occurs when the light does not evenly focus on the retina.

How can halos be treated or prevented?

Halos and glare can be treated with the help of prescriptive glasses and lenses coupled with advanced coatings to help clarify the vision. In some serious cases, surgery may be required to treat halos and glare issues. 


Anti-reflective lenses work best to protect issues such as halos and glare. Anti-reflective lenses specifically protect against bright dazzling rings of light and glare. These lenses have a thin, anti-reflective coating (called AR coating), which eliminates all types of reflections that can appear on the surface of the glasses. The coating prevents halos and glare on both the front and back of the glasses. 


Additionally, anti-reflective lenses are supported with an advanced ‘hydrophobic’ surface treatment, which helps to keep the anti-reflective coating in place and improve the longevity of the lenses. Moreover, this repels the water from the surface of the glasses. Thus, enhancing and sharpening overall vision. 


Anti-reflective glasses can be worn by people of all ages and gender for all purposes such as while reading, using digital screens, going out, driving, working under sunlight, etc. These glasses are also ideal for people that have eye issues such as nearsightedness and wear high-index lenses or UV protected lenses. 


Alternatively, to prevent halos and glare, it is important to eliminate the underlying causes. While cataracts cannot always be prevented, a few other eye issues can be avoided by maintaining good eye health, through:


  • Reducing exposure to harmful UV rays
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
  • Eating a healthy diet, inclusive of green leafy vegetables, and Vitamin C, Vitamin A, etc.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco


Moreover, regular eye examinations can help minimise the risk of eye disorders, which are a prime cause of halos and glare. 

Should you visit an optician?

Yes, a person witnessing halos and glare, and resultant vision impairment should visit an optician to get the corrective glasses. Moreover, regular eye examinations can help prevent several eye disorders, which are a major cause of halos and glare. These check-ups help to detect eye issues in the earlier stages. And then help take corrective actions to ensure they do not result in eye vision problems, such as halos and glare. 


Are halos normal?

Generally, halos are the normal response of eyes towards bright lights. However, in some cases, they can occur because of an underlying eye issue, such as cataract, glaucoma, dry eyes, Keratoconus, Photokeratitis, etc. 

For people that experience halos and glare, along with other symptoms, such as pain, blurry vision, eye strain, and headache, it is important to get effective eye care as soon as possible.


How are halos formed?

Halos are formed when the light entering the eye diffracts or bends, rather than falling right on the eye surface. This hinders vision of the person, especially when exposed to bright and night lights. 


Can dry eyes cause rainbow halos?


Yes, dry eyes can cause rainbow halos because they affect the front surface of the eyes and make it irregular. This, in turn, scatters the light, resulting in the formation of rainbow halos, especially at night.