View Full Version : Can dry eyes cause one to see colored halos around bright lights in the morning?

15-Dec-2011, 18:48
I'm 50 years old. Recently I started waking up every morning with blurred vision. When I drive to work in the dark, I see vivid rainbow colored halos around every headlight, street light etc. It occurs in both eyes, with my left being worse than my right. There is sometimes aching in my left eye and general discomfort in both eyes if I try to look at the headlights. This lasts anywhere from 3-6 hours before my vision returns to normal. It is very frightening to drive when my eyes are like this. I tried a Muro drop the other morning. It pretty much restored my right eye to normal within a few minutes, but the symptoms returned a while later. In the left eye, the Muro took the color out of the halos and improved my blurred vision but did not resolve it. This does not happen at night, only in the early morning. I have had difficulty tolerating glare for a long time and generally don't like light at all, chalked that up to my tiny left cataract and DES. i also see halos that are the same color of the light they surround, and star bursts with headlights. I also thought those were related to my cataract and DES. I plan on seeing my eye doctor soon but wondered if this could be the result of my dry eye or if I should be concerned about something else? I have been declared a glaucoma suspect with high normal pressures (18-20). I have used Lotemax for some time for my DES ( with very close monitoring of my pressures and retinal imaging). I'm afraid to use the Muro drops with my DES, they burn like crazy. Has anyone here who has not had eye surgery experienced seeing colored halos with their DES?

15-Dec-2011, 20:02
Kitty-this probably isn't related but i see halos a lot wheni drive in the dark-the headlights have halos too and sometimes look like they are shooting up to the sky... i blame it on my migraines/neurological issues-my friend has the same prob.. it doesnt happen every time i drive at night but quite often.i have to be careful to not stare or i will go into full migraine attack.. i am not sure if it is dry eye related..i have sjogrens and mgd as well as the migraines.. good luck in finding out whats going on.. do you get headaches at all? see what the doc says...good luck and be careful and most of all feel better ok

15-Dec-2011, 20:32
I do get headaches, migraines maybe a couple of times a month. I was previously diagnosed with ocular migraines but looking back, this acts like an extension of the previous problem. I'm not sure the diagnosis was correct. It troubles me that it is the same M.O. every single day. Are your halos colored jenny2008?

15-Dec-2011, 20:40
Hi Kitty, I don't know that I see coloured halos, but I do see rings around lights that tend to pulsate a bit, especially if I stare at the light. I don't get headaches, and I have had lasik.

15-Dec-2011, 23:34
I had halos and starbursts for some time with my dry eyes, I believe due to my worsening keratitis. They got much better after being on steroids for a while.

However rainbow coloured halos I believe are glaucoma. I don't think you can get rainbow coloured halos from dry eyes.

16-Dec-2011, 09:27
my halos are colored if a migraine is coming... otherwise the halos are the color of the headlights or ights...

16-Dec-2011, 18:25
My gut was speaking loudly to me so I went to the eye doctor today. I do have glaucoma. Don't know all of the details yet but my pressures were so high it is likely not from my Lotemax use. Please don't ignore seeing rainbow halos if you have never seen them before and have been seen by an eye doctor for them.

16-Dec-2011, 19:19
omg.. hang in there Kitty...:)

17-Dec-2011, 03:22
However rainbow coloured halos I believe are glaucoma
Kitty, It's so good that you posted about rainbow haloes and now this is being looked after. When we are in long-term hospital outpatient care, the interval between appointments for monitoring IOP and visual field checks is too great.

Poppy, Wow. Seriously. That was a very impressive bit of diagnosis... You just saved Kitty from a lot more troubles. [Glaucoma has been nicknamed the "silent thief of sight" because the loss of vision normally occurs gradually over a long period of time, and is often recognized only when the disease is quite advanced. Once lost, this damaged visual field cannot be recovered. Wiki] Don't you just love this forum.

17-Dec-2011, 07:58
So glad you got this checked out Kitty! I see halos and have DES and Glaucoma. Doctors haven't mentioned any connection to me though. But seeing the doc ASAP was a really smart move for you. I'm sure they'll get it under control.

BTW - Docs almost always start Glaucoma patients on Xalatan, and I was on it for many years, but it can make DES worse due to having such a high amount of BAK preservative. It also, like many Glaucoma meds, can cause some systemic side effects, as it did for me. It worked great for my pressure, just wanted you to be aware that if you have any side effect issues there are alternatives. The drug I'm on now is Travatan-Z, which I'm not having negative reactions to. Here's a useful website:



17-Dec-2011, 08:06
Kitty, so sorry to hear about the bad news, but glad you trusted your gut as I know Glaucoma is sight threatening causing irreversible damage...

I second that; DO NOT ignore halos! I know from experience that while halos around lights can be a symptom of dry eye, it is not all that typical. I was having halo's around lights, that progressed into glare over the months and I had Optometrist after Optometrist tell me my eyes were fine, just dry and I had a "refractive error". And I knew that was total BS, so I skipped the OD's and saw a experienced Opthamologist(corneal specialist) and he diagnosed me right away with early stage cataracts. And that explains the halo and glare/scattered light symptoms I have. Which is actually worsened with dry eyes because of relflex tearing!

And for the young folks out there, I'm "only" 36 and I have this condition! So don't think your young, strong body cant fall prey to this kind of stuff. If you see halo's/bad glare, etc, get yourself a real diagnosis. Get a 2nd opinion, 3rd opinion, 4th opinion until you get to root of the problem. And go see a Opthamologist if you don't get answers from a OD. Doctors have egos and so even if they aren't all that sure, a lot of them will just say it's just dry eyes even though they cant be certain. They don't like to look clueless. In kitty's case, she has a minor cataract that could explain her symptoms, but since this was a sudden onset, it was a great idea to get it looked at right away.;)

Since Sept I must have spent $1,500 on doctors(no insurance), plugs, glasses, special glasses, eye drops, tranquileyes, etc, etc. And I have much more expense to follow by eventually getting this surgically corrected. But at least now I know what the heck is going on with me.

It's your eyes(the jewel of the body) and you only get 1 pair, so get all the help you need.

My gut was speaking loudly to me so I went to the eye doctor today. I do have glaucoma. Don't know all of the details yet but my pressures were so high it is likely not from my Lotemax use. Please don't ignore seeing rainbow halos if you have never seen them before and have been seen by an eye doctor for them.

17-Dec-2011, 09:44
Thank you for your support MaryVa61. I'm not feeling so alone now. I am on Combigan and Xalatan. Both are very irritating to my already very dry eyes. I woke with an erosion this morning despite Muro ointment last night. Have you figured out a way to reduce the irritation of these medications? How long does it take for the medications to start to lower the IOP?

17-Dec-2011, 10:46
When the doc changed my drops to Alphagan-P, then Combigan, then finally the Travatan-Z, I had to go in a month later for a pressure check, so I assume it takes around 30 days to see if it's going to work. The Xalatan was the worst for my dry eye and BAK sensitivity pain. The Combigan was less bad but still a problem. The Alphagan-P didn't work on the pressure and it was quite high when checked, but that one didn't cause any irritation to my eyes. I hope I can continue on the current one, but I tend to develop med sensitivites sometimes years later, so I never know.

I'd tried using Similasin shortly before or after using the old meds, and/or OASIS Plus 15 minutes before, to reduce irritation. Doc said could keep them in the fridge and that may help some. But I seem to have a severe hypersensitivity to BAK, not just a mild irritant reaction like some get, so nothing really worked but going off it.

It'll probably take you some experimentation since everyone responds a little differently to the meds. It's a frustrating time, but hang in there. Your eyesight is worth the trouble. I hope you feel better soon.


18-Dec-2011, 22:05
Hi Kitty.
Sorry to hear of your Glaucoma diagnosis. I too had rainbow colored halos around lights. This can be a good thing and a way for you to know that your pressures are high.

I have "high pressures" in my left eye only after a complicated cataract surgery. I have been on many drops including oral Diamox and am now on TIMOPTIC in OCUDOSE with is preservative free. I had to talk my doctor into this. It comes in individual vials that I keep in the fridge.

I have a routine that helps with the irritation from the drop. I use preservative free lubrication drops along with COLD compresses in the AM before and after the Timoptic drop. Wait 10 minutes (I set my oven timer) after putting in the pressure drop before you put in a lubricant. Also, make sure you close the puncta with your finger so that the drop stays in your eye and less is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Good luck to you ..it can be scarey at first but sounds like you caught it in time!!