halo around light

Sometimes when people are seeing halos around lights can be worrisome, because often they are a symptom of cataracts. These rings generally appear in low lit rooms or at night, and also can be a consequence of Lasik surgery or the use of corrective lenses.

The sudden appearance of them combined with other symptoms like hazy vision or pain make advisable to consult an specialist to properly examine the issue and diagnose the underlying cause, because they might be an indication of a more preoccupant eye condition.

In the case of cataracts the change in the lens of the eye commonly provokes people to start seeing halos around the eye, as a result of the diffraction of the light that enters their eye.

Halo Definition

The word Halo comes from a series of optical phenomena produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Halos come in several shapes like rings, arcs and spots.

In the past, atmospheric optical occurrences like halos were used as part of weather prediction, which was a form of weather forecasting in the days that meteorology was not developed yet. When Halos appeared they often said that rain will happen within short time, since the clouds that cause the halos were a sign that a frontal system was approaching. Halos were classified with other kinds of atmospheric manifestations, like rainbows and glory.

For people that see halos around lights a halo appears as a large ring, for example around the Sun, the Moon and other lights with a radius of about 22° of the ring.

Causes In Detail

Fuchs’ Dystrophy

In some cases the origin of seeing halos around lights is a condition called Fuchs’ dystrophy, which is an eye disorder that causes the cornea to swell. This problem in the cornea can cause someone that have Fuchs’ dystrophy to see these rings around lights.

Other symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy that can appear are for example cloudy vision, sensitivity to light, eye distress, and swelling.

The origin of Fuchs’ dystrophy is generally genetic and the symptoms most of the times appear at an advanced age.


Cataract surgery  involve the replacement of the lens of the eye and one of the temporary side effects is that can cause seeing halos around lights .


Glaucoma is one of the main causes of blindness in the US, and occurs when the optic nerve is damaged by the high pressure in the fluid circulating in the front of the eye, and one of the types called acute-angle closure glaucoma is even regarded as an emergency situation, because its sudden apparition and the danger that is involved.

Often you can see this eye disorder together with: eye pain, blurred vision, eye redness, vomiting, weakness and headache.


Photokeratitis is the result of your eyes being exposed to too much sun light (UV), making you feel like seeing halos around lights. Other symptoms associated with it are: sensitivity to light, pain, headache, burning, and blurred vision.

In this case the symptoms normally disappear on their own, after a couple of days. It is advisable to see a specialist if they don’t subside or if there is strong pain.

Seeing halos Around lights Explained

How To Prevent The Causes

To prevent these kinds of symptoms is necessary to attack the cause, so see how to prevent the causes that provoke seeing halos around lights.

Cataracts are difficult to prevent but it is possible to slow its progress by improving the care of our eyes and make some changes in our lifestyle. Some advises to achieve these goals are for example:

Protection against the effect of ultraviolet radiation is always recommended, by wearing sunglasses and preferably staying out of the sun.

Keeping diabetes under control is also basic, and combined with a diet that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and carotenoids will help to delay cataracts in some extent.

Maintaining a proper weight, avoid smoking and consume alcohol only in limited amount will contribute not only to prevent cataracts, but also keep at bay several ocular complications that come from an unhealthy lifestyle.

Beyond that it is advisable that after reaching the age of forty, proceed to control the health of your eyes by a specialist regularly.

How To Treat Them

To treat a person that is seeing halos around lights we have to take in to account the cause that is triggering them.

Cataracts habitually become worse over time, and are not considered a medical emergency, but surgery would be advisable at some moment to avoid the vision to worsen. The surgery replaces the cloudy lens with a custom intraocular lens. Cataract surgery is a very simple and a common procedure which nowadays has very good results.

Is the person suffering from migraine? Normally when this occurs, the halos will usually disappear when the migraine recedes. Recurrent migraines will need a visit to a doctor that probably may prescribe medicine to diminish the frequency of the migraines or prevent them completely.

Talking about acute glaucoma, the treatment means that a laser surgery that makes a new opening in the iris to allow the fluid movement of liquid in the eye is made.

When a person has recently had LASIK surgery is a good idea to wear sunglasses to avoid the excessive appearance of the aforementioned halos.

Keratoconus is often managed with prescription rigid gas permeable contact lenses, but in more severe cases sometimes a corneal transplant is performed.

Seeing Halos Around lights Meanings Conclusion

The presence of light is vital for people eyes to see their surroundings. We can see it when it jumps off articles around and enters our vision, but sometimes the light can result in annoying images that appear in form of seeing halos around lights.  These bright circles appear surrounding a source of light, such any light that is seen normally at night. These halos when enter our eyes, instead of helping us to see better it ends up interfering with our vision.

Many times these halos are result of a normal phenomenon o a shocking light, but others are symptom of more serious problem.

The bottom line is that if someone is seeing halos around lights too often, is better to have his or her eyes checked timely.