It’s hard to hit a ball that you cannot see and it’s difficult to dodge roots on a trail when your vision is blurred. Clear vision is an asset in most, if not all sports. Depending on the sport, the use of glasses or contacts can range anywhere from inconvenient to outright dangerous. Some sports do not even allow the use of glasses, as they can get in the way and can break. Contacts can be a better solution, but dirt and sweat can get under contacts, causing your eyes to sting and making it difficult to see. In some sports, such as swimming, your contacts may even fall out. Additionally, if you swim with your contacts, they can absorb bacteria, leading to an infection. LASIK or other refractive surgery, such as PRK, can be an excellent option for athletes looking to free themselves of their contacts or glasses. Below are some things you should know if you are an athlete, or even just someone who enjoys an active lifestyle, and are considering LASIK.

Are there additional risks for athletes?

Some sports put LASIK patients at a higher risk for complications than others, but most of those risks are avoidable for athletes if they take a proper break from training and allow their eyes to heal fully. The average recovery rate for LASIK is two days. After that, most athletes may need to take a little bit longer to heal before getting back to their sport. The length of time depends on the sport. It is usually safe to get back to certain sports, like running, after just a few days. During LASIK, a corneal flap is made and lifted to aid the laser in reshaping the cornea. If the eye is hit before the patient has fully recovered from surgery, there is a risk of the corneal flap re-opening or becoming damaged and infected. For athletes involved in contact sports, PRK or photorefractive keratectomy is an alternative option that will be safer than LASIK. During PRK, no flap is created – instead, the surface is carefully debrided and the same laser is used to reshape the cornea. While healing takes longer with PRK, results are comparable to LASIK with no risk of flap damage from trauma. It is important to listen to your doctor and to take recovery time seriously.

Read to know more about Lasik  Eye Surgery. 

What precautions do athletes need to take when having LASIK?

  • Listen to your doctor and take the proper amount of time to let your eyes heal.
  • Avoid dusty and dirty environments for at least a week following the procedure.
  • You can bathe or shower the day after your surgery, but refrain from swimming or submerging your head in water for at least 2 weeks.
  • If you are going to sweat in the weeks following your procedure, wear a sweatband to keep the sweat out of your eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes, as this can negatively impact the healing process.
  • Wear protective eye gear once you resume your activity.

Additional information

Whether you are Olympics bound or you just enjoy playing the game, LASIK or PRK can improve your performance by freeing you from the inconvenience of glasses or contacts. To learn if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery, call Milan Eye Center today at (678) 681-9834 and book a free initial consultation appointment.

Learn more about LASIK through our Comprehensive Guide For LASIK.

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