While our team certainly does not condone drinking alcoholic beverages in excess, we do acknowledge that a large percentage of the population does consume alcohol at least occasionally. When it comes to LASIK, there are some restrictions concerning consumption of these beverages in the perioperative period. Here, Dr. Andrew E. Holzman and our Washington, DC, team discuss the topic of alcohol before and after LASIK so patients can prepare for a quick and successful recovery.

Alcohol before LASIK

The consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited immediately prior to the procedure. Patients are typically given an anxiety pill prior to the procedure, and in combination with alcohol, it may cause excessive drowsiness and lead to cancellation of the procedure.

Though it may be tempting to have a drink the night before your procedure, we discourage this as well. Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration. In some cases, this can lead to discomfort during healing. Furthermore, attending a medical visit while hungover is not a pleasant experience.

Alcohol after LASIK

For patients that consume alcoholic beverages responsibly, it is typically alright to resume doing so the day after the procedure. However, as mentioned above, alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and possibly contribute to a dry eye effect post-operatively. Please remember to hydrate well following your procedure with consumption of water and hydrating liquids.

Because LASIK is quick and minimally invasive, many patients feel well enough to attend social engagements within days of their procedure. While this is fine to do, it is important to prioritize recovery. Therefore, be mindful of how much alcohol you consume during the first week of healing and be sure to get plenty of rest.

The Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Alcohol is a depressant by nature. As a result, it slows and suppresses the body’s vital functions. As you know, drinking alcohol in excess can lead to slurred speech, impaired judgement, and ill coordination, but alcohol also affects the blood’s ability to clot.  Significant consumption also leads to dehydration which can create dry eye issues following LASIK or PRK.

Other Considerations for a Successful Recovery

In addition to avoiding significant alcohol consumption, there are a few other recommendations that will foster a successful recovery following LASIK. For example, patients should avoid:

  • Driving: Patients should bring a responsible friend or family member with them to their appointment. They will need to drive you home from our office and stay with you for a couple of hours after LASIK. Most patients can drive the day after the procedure. However, you should wait for clearance from your Washington, DC, surgeon before getting behind the wheel.
  • Showering: It is best to avoid bathing or showering for 24 hours after LASIK. Patients should try to prevent water from entering the eyes for the first week. Therefore, when you do shower, keep this in mind. You can even wear swimming goggles as an added layer of protection.
  • Applying makeup: Patients should reduce the risk of any irritants entering the eyes after LASIK. We recommend avoiding eye makeup for at least one week after your procedure.
  • Swimming: All swimming should be avoided for at least two weeks after LASIK.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

If you are considering LASIK, it is important to familiarize yourself with proper pre- and post-treatment guidelines. For more information on LASIK, or to schedule an appointment at our Washington, DC, practice, call us at (703) 440-7698 or contact us online anytime.

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