Can I Play Contact Sports after LASIK?

March 9, 2019 — by Dr. Gregory Stainer
Tags: Lasik

An illustration of an eye and its lensLASIK eye surgery has gained popularity because it makes it possible for those with myopia and other refractive errors to see more clearly without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

People who live an active, athletic lifestyle can benefit from LASIK surgery, especially those who play contact sports. At Southwest Eyecare & Laser, Dr. Gregory A. Stainer explains what patients should know about LASIK and contact sports during consultations at our Bakersfield, CA practice. For more information, we welcome you to schedule a consultation.

How Can Athletes Who Play Contact Sports Benefit from LASIK?

Athletes can benefit from LASIK eye surgery, but those who play contact sports, like football, boxing, or hockey, may benefit even more.

LASIK eye surgery makes it possible for people who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to see clearly without corrective lenses. This is particularly beneficial for those who play contact sports because eyeglasses and sport frames can be cumbersome when engaged in play.

Even wearing contact lenses can put athletes at a disadvantage. It's not uncommon for athletes who wear contact lenses to suffer from a piece of dirt or debris getting stuck under their lenses or having a contact become dislodged.

Being able to play a contact sport without worrying about contacts or eyeglasses is preferred, making LASIK a popular choice for many athletes.

Precautions Must Be Taken before Returning to Contact Sports

It is safe for those who play contact sports to have LASIK eye surgery. However, precautions must be taken before returning to contact sports after surgery.

Contact sports are particularly risky during recovery as another athlete or equipment may hit the eyes and cause the flap created in the cornea during surgery to become dislodged. This increases the risk of infection and can impact vision.

Playing sports too soon after LASIK surgery increases the risk of complications as the eye may not be fully healed from treatment.

The Eyes Must Be Fully Healed Before Returning to Contact Sports

In order to reduce the risk of infection or eye injury after LASIK surgery, it is important that athletes wait at least one month before returning to contact sports. Although vision is typically improved before this time, the eye may not be fully healed from surgery.

It generally takes several weeks for the corneal flap to heal. Until it's fully healed, any hit to the eyes or debris can cause the flap to dislodge or an infection to develop, prolonging recovery time and putting vision at risk.

Before playing contact sports again, it's important for patients to have their eyes evaluated. If the eyes heal sufficiently, patients may be cleared to play contact sports again. With that said, protective eyewear is often recommended or required for several months when playing contact sports.

Plan Procedures during the Off-season

One way that athletes who play contact sports can reduce their risk of complications from sports-related eye injuries after LASIK surgery is to plan procedures during the off-season.

Waiting for the off-season allows athletes time to safely recover without missing out on important games or competitions.

Learn More about LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK has helped many patients enjoy clearer vision. For answers to your questions about LASIK surgery and contact sports, or to find out if you're a candidate, we welcome you to schedule a consultation by calling our staff at (661) 833-4040 or (661) 393-2331.

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