Many people are under the misconception that LASIK eye surgery demands a long recovery where exercise, training and strenuous activities aren’t possible. However, this is a myth; most people are able to return to work the next day and certain levels of exercise are possible shortly after. Now that summer is officially here and people are working and playing outside, this article discusses how LASIK eye surgery benefits the everyday athlete in you.
Running After LASIK
Whether you’re a weekly jogger or marathon veteran, the everyday runner athlete can quickly resume their routine. In just two days after LASIK eye surgery, runners can resume their normal running routine, not even missing half a week of training or body conditioning.
LASIK eye surgery can provide runners with great benefits by eliminating the:
- Need to clean and find your contacts or glasses before going to the gym or outside to run
- Burning, stinging and itching symptoms associated with sweat mixing with contacts and contact fluid
- Difficulty glasses cause when trying to exercise or run
- Need to stop and clean glasses due to sweat and condensation
- Risks of breaking or losing your glasses during exercise and training
Swimming After LASIK
Swimming after LASIK eye surgery requires a two-week hiatus after procedure day. It is important to keep water out of your eyes and not submerge your head in water in order to maximize protection from infection and allow your reshaped corneal tissue to heal. Keeping your eyes free of chlorinated water for 14 days also reduces chances for unnecessary dry eye. Ocular dryness is a common post LASIK eye surgery side effect that should be addressed proactively by your LASIK eye surgeon.
Long-term benefits of LASIK for swimmers include:
- Minimized risks for eye infections, as chlorinated water can cause infections in contact wearers
- Clear vision while swimming for those who wore glasses and were not able to wear contacts
- Eliminated expenses for high priced prescription goggles
- No more lane guesstimation; greatly improved ability to see swimming lanes clearly
Contact Sports After LASIK
Contact sport athletes represent another category of individuals who can quickly regain their playing ability after LASIK eye surgery. However, this category of the everyday athlete does require a little additional care. First, all all-laser, blade free LASIK is particularly important for the contact sport athlete. The reason for this is that a corneal flap made with a laser has a better adherence versus one made with a blade. This is one reason why the military does not allow blade LASIK. After LASIK, in as little as two days, people who like to play contact sports such as racquetball, tennis, volleyball, soccer, basketball, football and baseball can pick up their rackets, knee pads and cleats, as long as reliable protective eye wear is worn. These protective goggles should be worn for an entire month after LASIK, as it is imperative to protect your eyes from sudden jabs, bumps and acute trauma. However, with such durable protective eyewear, LASIK eye surgery patients can still enjoy playing their favorite contact sports games within a half week after their procedure, never missing any training or playing time.
It is generally recommended that certain sports where sudden, blunt person-to-person contact is highly likely or guaranteed should be avoided completely for the first month to maximize safety and reduce chances for corneal displacement. Activities including karate, krav maga, kung fu and other martial arts pose higher injury risks due to their offensive and defensive processes
After LASIK eye surgery, everyday contact sports athletes can eliminate:
- Chances for broken glasses
- Expensive prescription sports goggles purchases
- The likelihood for contacts to fall out or shift out of place during games or matches
- Risks for eye injuries from broken glasses
- The irritation involved when sweat or sunscreen enters the eye and reacts with contacts and contact solution
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