LASIK and Swimmers: Returning to the Water after Surgery
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on January 13, 2017
There are many benefits of LASIK, especially for those who love to swim or spend their time at the beach or lake. You can enjoy the freedom of clear vision and avoid painful irritation from wearing contact lenses in the water. Athletes do not have to worry about expensive prescription goggles. Having perfect or near-perfect vision can significantly improve your summer vacation and recreational activities, as well as your athletic performance. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman offers post-operative instructions for swimmers that have undergone LASIK at our Washington, DC area practice.
Can I Swim after LASIK?
Fortunately, there are no long-term restrictions on swimming after you undergo the LASIK procedure. There are, however, some short-term restrictions that swimmers should be aware of before deciding to undergo surgery. While LASIK recovery is relatively short, you are much more vulnerable to eye infections and irritation during this time.
You cannot swim for two full weeks after your LASIK procedure is complete. This includes chlorinated and saltwater pools, as well as lakes and the ocean. After the first two weeks, you can begin swimming with the use of goggles for another two full weeks. A month after your surgery, you can then return to normal swimming routines, with or without goggles.
In addition, we recommend avoiding hot tubs for up to a month after your surgery. A hot tub may seem relatively safe since you generally keep your head above the water at all times, but splashes and accidents happen. Because of the warm temperature of hot tubs, they harbor more bacteria than a swimming pool. Even a splash of water in the eye could cause an eye infection.
Scheduling Your LASIK Procedure around Swimming
If you are an athlete or an avid swimmer, it is important to take your exercise routines into consideration when scheduling LASIK. Dr. Holzman has performed LASIK on numerous professional athletes and can help you work out the logistics of scheduling your procedure. Even if you are not an athlete, you should still carefully plan your LASIK surgery so that it does not affect vacations or other water-related activities in which you may want to participate.
Although summer can seem like a great time to have LASIK, you may want to reconsider if you have a vacation planned or want to spend a lot of time at the pool. Many patients realize that although they can swim after the first two weeks, they do not want to walk around the beach wearing goggles for the next two weeks.
Find Out if LASIK Is Right for You
With technological advancements, more patients than ever qualify for LASIK. This vision correction surgery has transformed the lives of many patients, including professional athletes from the Washington, DC area and beyond. To find out if LASIK is right for you, contact TLC Laser Eye Centers to schedule a consultation with Dr. Holzman. After evaluating your vision and assessing your treatment goals, he can help you determine if LASIK is right for you.