How soon can I play sports after LASIK?

by Lance Kugler, MD

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get is how quickly one can go back to playing sports after LASIK. While it depends on the type of surgery you had, and how severe your eye condition was prior to surgery, there are a few basic rules we suggest for all patients to follow.

For the first 48 to 72 hours, we request that a patient shouldn’t rub their eyes or do anything that puts pressure on them. We also recommend avoiding anything that causes sweat to enter the eye.

After 72 hours, light exercise is allowed such as going to the gym, playing tennis or golf, but all with caution. As for more active sports, patients are normally allowed to play again after a little more than a month.

The one thing we advise our patients to be careful about is swimming. As outlined in an earlier blog post, if you swim in a chlorinated pool, the flap could become irritated or dry if it’s not fully healed. Swimming outdoors at a beach or lake also puts your eyes at risk of bacteria infection. Be sure to consult with our doctors before and after your LASIK surgery about when it is safe for you to play sports again.

kugler vision doctor lance kugler

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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