Seeing halos (bright circles or rings around lights) can be common, but they can also be a cause for concern. Here’s a look at why you might be seeing halos and what to do about them.
Have you experienced seeing bright rings or circles surrounding a light source, such as a headlight? At their best, seeing halos can be an odd or even annoying visual sensation; at their worst, they can be a symptom of a major eye condition or disorder. Seeing halos can be especially problematic at night or in a dimly lit space, when they’re more likely to interfere with your vision.
What causes halos?
When light bends as it enters your eye — called diffraction — your eyes perceive that halo effect. This can be caused by a number of different things. Sometimes it’s a response to bright lights, especially if you wear glasses or contact lenses to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.
However, seeing these bright rings could be a side effect of a serious eye disease or other issue. Some of these include:
- Dry eye
- LASIK surgery or other corrective eye procedures
- Cataracts or recent cataract surgery
- Fuchs’ dystrophy
- Ocular migraine
How do I know if they’re a sign of a serious condition?
If halos appear out of the blue, or if you also experience rainbow-colored halos, blurred vision, pain, or other uncomfortable symptoms, they could indicate a more serious condition.
If you’ve never experienced halos before, or if they’ve suddenly increased in frequency and regularity, it’s a good idea to check with your eye doctor to make sure all is well with your eye health. Your eye doctor will be able to pinpoint the exact reason the halos are appearing in your vision. If they are the result of a serious eye disorder, treating that will help resolve the symptom of seeing halos.
Are there treatments?
While there aren’t treatments directly for the halos, usually that symptom is diminished when the conditions causing the halos are treated.
If you don’t currently wear corrective eyeglasses or contacts, it’s definitely worth getting an eye exam to check for refractive errors. You may have developed nearsightedness or farsightedness without realizing it. These vision issues mean your eyes aren’t able to focus light on your retinas the way they should.
Taking care of your eye health is always the best way to prevent vision problems.