Why Am I Seeing Halos Around Lights?

Written By: Adara Ofitserova

While everyone who sees halos around lights does not have an eye disease, halos around lights accompanied by other symptoms could signal a serious eye disorder. So, is what you are experiencing just an annoyance or something more disturbing?

It can be especially disconcerting at night if you start seeing halos and bright circles because these vision problems can interfere with your ability to see clearly and make being around bright lights uncomfortable.

What Are the Common Causes of Seeing Halos?

Before we begin discussing some common causes of seeing rainbow-colored halos, you need to understand the basics of how the eyes work. Light entering the eyes bends. When this light bends, it is called refraction.

Sometimes, people see halos around lights when light enters their eyes and bends. If you wear glasses or contacts to correct nearsightedness, you are more likely to see bright rings. This annoying visual sensation and other uncomfortable symptoms may be present.

The following are some of the common causes of seeing halos around lights:

  • Dry eye Lasik surgery
  • Acute Glaucoma
  • Permanent vision loss
  • Ocular migraine
  • Optic nerve damage
  • Severe headache
  • Recent cataract surgery
  • Fuch’s Dystrophy
  • Photokeratitis
  • Keratoconus
  • Astigmatism
  • Corrective eye procedures – Cataracts

Dry Eye Syndrome 

Chronically dry eyes can develop changes to the shape of the cornea. If the cornea is shaped incorrectly, focus light scatters when entering the eye instead of bending.


Glaucoma is an eye condition that results in increased eye pressure. Ongoing increases in pressure can damage the optic nerve. This condition is one of the leading causes of vision loss. In its early stages, you may see bright rings around lights.

Ocular Migraines 

An ocular migraine, also known as retinal migraine, can be frightening to experience but is usually short-lived. You may experience rainbow-colored halos, bright flashes, and vision disturbances temporarily. The underlying cause of this condition is not always known.

Cataract Surgery 

You will likely see halos around a light source if you have cataracts. Cataracts can change the eye’s surface and make it more difficult to see, even if you wear corrective eyeglasses.

Surgery must be performed to regain vision clarity. The cloudy lens is removed, and an artificial lens is placed. Just after surgery, you may experience light sensitivity or halos surrounding lights.

Fuch’s Dystrophy 

This severe eye disorder causes a buildup of fluid in the front of the eye, leading to a swollen and thickened cornea. Over time, this condition degrades your eye health and can lead to you seeing halos or having other severe symptoms.



If you have been exposed to UV light sources without protection, a painful eye condition can develop. Exposure to light damages the corneal epithelial cells, leaving the underlying corneal nerves damaged and exposed. Early detection is critical, and this condition can be a medical emergency.


Keratoconus causes the rounded cornea to become overly thin and develop a bulge that impedes the eye’s lens from transmitting light effectively, resulting in refractive errors and seeing shimmering lights.


Astigmatism is an abnormal curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. This condition causes vision distortion, including circles surrounding lights, especially in a dimly lit space.

It is important to note that seeing halo issues can sometimes occur when your eyes are healthy. If the problem persists for a few weeks, there may be serious vision issues or eye disorders that require treatment.

Symptoms That May Accompany Seeing Halos Around Bright Lights

You may experience these common symptoms with halos, including the following:

  • Eye pain and increased pressure
  • Blurred vision problems
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Dryness

When to See Your Eye Doctor

See your eye doctor immediately if you are seeing halos around lights and experiencing the above symptoms. An eye exam will allow your eye doctor to determine what is causing your blurred vision and other symptoms when exposed to bright light. The doctor can determine if you have an eye disease.

How to Protect Against Seeing Halos Around Lights with Blurred Vision

It is not always possible to prevent yourself from seeing halos around lights, especially if you wear contact lenses or have a serious eye disease. The following offers tips to help you protect your eye health and vision:

  • Seek an eye exam regularly to ensure your eyes are healthy and there are no vision concerns.
  • Eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, K, and A.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Get plenty of beneficial exercise.

FAQ About Seeing Halos

We understand you likely have questions about seeing halos. After all, it can be frightening if you have never experienced it before.

Is It Normal to See Halos Around Bright Lights? 

You may see halos around lights without any eye health issues in some brief instances. If the problem continues, see your doctor right away.

When Should I Be Concerned About Halos? 

You should be especially concerned about seeing halos if you have other symptoms, including eye pain, blurry vision, itching, or redness. Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment when these are present.

What Are Halos Around Lights Symptoms Of? 

This vision disturbance can occur because of glaucoma, cataracts, Fuch’s Dystrophy, astigmatism, and more. Always see your doctor if this issue continues.

How Do I Stop Seeing Halos? 

To stop seeing halos, you must first know why they are occurring. For instance, if cataracts are the problem, removing them can stop halos. Your doctor will help you determine what is causing your changes in vision and offer treatment.

Protect Your Eye Health Today

If you are concerned about your eye health, schedule an appointment for an eye exam today. Getting to the root cause of your vision issues is essential.

Published on: April 13, 2023
Last Updated: April 13, 2023

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