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How Soon Can I Exercise after Undergoing LASIK Surgery?

By Andrew Holzman on December 12, 2015

A woman stretching before a run days after undergoing LASIK surgeryAlthough LASIK is one of the safest and most dependable surgical procedures in modern medicine, the success of the procedure depends heavily on patients diligently following the post-operative instructions provided to them by their surgeons. By following these directions, patients can help to ensure that they achieve the best results possible. It also helps to minimize risks, especially those involving complications with the flap created in the outermost layer of the cornea at the opening of the procedure.

Most patients who are interested in undergoing LASIK are curious as to how the procedure will affect their daily routines, including their exercise regimens. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman takes the time to explain every element of the recovery process, including issues relevant to LASIK and exercise, during consultations at his Washington, DC eye care clinic so that patients know exactly what to expect before committing to surgery.

To find out whether you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery and what you can expect from your recovery, please schedule your consultation with Dr. Holzman today.

How Soon Can Patients Exercise after Undergoing LASIK?

How soon you will be able to exercise after undergoing LASIK depends on the type of exercising to which you are referring. Immediately after your surgery, it will be very important to protect your eyes. This is largely due to the fact that the delicate corneal flap requires time to heal. Complications with the corneal flap are the most common risk associated with LASIK surgery. Safeguarding the flap is your foremost priority. However, it is also important to shield your eyes during the first few days from elements such as sun, wind, dust, and dirt.

Therefore, as long as you are able to protect your eyes from these elements by wearing sunglasses, goggles, or other eye protection, as well as from sweat by wearing a cap or headband, some exercises may be appropriate within a week or so. For example, it may be possible to begin jogging or running as soon as one or two days after your surgery, although some surgeons prefer that their patients wait a full week before engaging in such exercise. Aerobic exercise and bicycling may also be acceptable within days of surgery. The impact of such exercise is highly unlikely to cause the corneal flap to become dislodged.

However, forms of exercise that involve reasonable risk of trauma to the eye, should be avoided for at least a month. These include sports such as tennis, baseball, football, basketball, boxing, and rugby. These sports are also more likely to result in debris entering the eye, especially those that are routinely played outdoors and on natural surfaces such as grass and dirt. Even when you are cleared to participate in such activities, eye protection should be worn, especially for the first six months after surgery.

Learn More about LASIK and Exercise

To learn more about LASIK and exercise, or to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Andrew E. Holzman, please contact our laser vision correction center today.

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