by Steven Vale, M.D.
One of the more common questions I hear from patients inquiring about LASIK is, “Can I still play sports after my surgery?”
It’s a valid question. I wrote this short article explaining what you can expect when it comes to sports and LASIK surgery.
I wish I had done this years ago…
At Acuity we hear these words very often! Especially from active people and athletes.
Whether you’re involved in competitive athletics at the high school, collegiate or professional level, or maybe just enjoy a game of pickleball with your friends, or hitting the tennis courts on a weekend morning, LASIK may actually enhance your performance by providing freedom from glasses or contact lenses. but caution is also indicated, as it would be with ANY eye surgery.
There are many professional athletes who play football, basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, baseball and those participating in a variety of other sports such as skiing, cycling and mountain biking who have undergone the laser vision correction procedures. Some of them right here in eastern Pennsylvania at Acuity Laser Eye & Vision Center.
What Precautions Do Athletes Need to Take After Having LASIK?
There are certain precautions that all patients need to take immediately following their surgery. For athletes, these are especially important. Here are a few important guidelines to adhere to:
- Avoid participating in strenuous exercise for at least one week. Your eyes need time to heal.
- Avoid dusty, dirty environments for at least 3 weeks after surgery.
- You can bathe or shower the day of your surgery, but avoid lakes and fresh water for 3 weeks , pools, hot tubs, oceans, etc. for at least 10 days.
What About Recovery Time After Surgery?
Sure you’re anxious to return to the sports you love, but it is important to be very careful in the weeks and months following your surgery. As with an athlete rehabbing an injury, you don’t want to come back too soon and risk complications.
It’s also important to note that while LASIK is a great procedure for the majority of athletes, there are a few sports (such as boxing or mixed martial arts) where another procedure such as PRK or Epi-LASIK may be a better fit as there is no flap in those cases.
At Acuity, our first priority is to ensure patients receive the treatment that is right for them, whether it is LASIK, PRK, or another vision correction procedure. Please feel free to discuss your lifestyle and avocations with our Patient Counselor DURING YOUR FREE, NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION
What Procedures Should Be Avoided?
If your primary goal is to play sports, especially ones that require good depth perception, like golf or tennis, treating both eyes for good distance vision makes sense. Monovision treatment corrects one eye for far and one for near, and helps patients over 40 avoid reading glasses, but probably won’t help much to keep your eye on the ball.
Epi-LASIK and PRK are the two procedures most commonly recommended for athletes involved in contact and high velocity projectile sports. A consultation with our Patient Counselor will confirm candidacy for the procedure that best meets your needs.
If you’re an athlete interested in LASIK, give us a call! (877) 520-3937
Athletes are generally great candidates for LASIK, but to be sure, we need to see you in person. Give our office a call today or fill out the contact form on this website for a free, no obligation consultation.