Getting Back to Your Regular Life After LASIK Surgery

When can I drive after LASIK?

Rediscover the little joys of life with your new vision

We at Grene Laser love hearing from our patients about how much LASIK has changed their lives. 

Whether it’s trying a new activity or sport for the first time or rediscovering the simple pleasure of a walk or watching a sunset, we’ve helped thousands of our Wichita patients discover the freedom of better vision through LASIK.

Yet some of the most common questions we get about LASIK surgery is how long do you have to recover before  you can resume your normal activities. If you're hesitating to get life-changing LASIK because you're worried about needing to take it slow after surgery, let us put your fears to rest. Learn all about how long it takes to get back to living life to the fullest after LASIK surgery in this nifty guide from Grene Laser.

When can I drive after LASIK?

While recovery times can vary, most patients are able to drive 24 hours after getting LASIK. When you come back for your first follow-up visit the day after the procedure, your doctor will check your vision and clear you to drive. Definitely DO NOT count on driving yourself home the day of your procedure.

It’s always recommended to wear sunglasses when driving—or doing anything in direct sunlight—after LASIK, so it might be a good idea to stash a few pairs around your house and in your vehicles before having LASIK. If you have a corrective lenses restriction on your driver’s license, you’ll need to have a form completed and signed by your doctor to send to the Medical/Visual Unit of the Kansas Department of Revenue to get the restriction removed.

How soon can I do physical activities that aren’t exercise, but are just fun?

Physical activities can be a lot more enjoyable without relying on glasses or contacts to see correctly. However, you don’t want to jump back in too soon. Typically, you can get back to these activities within a few days after your surgery. But rather than guess if you’re okay, it’s important to follow the instructions your doctor gives you and wait the appropriate amount of time before resuming certain activities.

Just remember that your eyes go through a healing process after the procedure. Like any other recovery, it’s important to go slow. Listen to your body and instincts (but weigh those feelings against your doctor’s advice) and you’ll be back at it soon enough.

When can I lift weights or exercise after LASIK?

While light exercise like walking or using an elliptical machine can usually be resumed within a few days after the procedure, it’s generally recommended to wait a little longer before going back to strenuous exercise. For most patients, it’s a good idea to wait about a week after getting LASIK before doing any high intensity workouts. Your doctor might recommend starting out with weight machines or lighter weights before going back to lifting heavier free weights to avoid accidentally straining your eyes. You’ll also want to wait about a week before resuming higher-intensity cardio.

If you swim, you’ll need to protect your eyes from treated or possibly contaminated water—like in a swimming pool by wearing goggles. Keep sweat out of your eyes and avoid rubbing them by wearing a sweatband when doing things like running or yoga.

Patients usually go back to playing contact sports a week after the procedure but be sure to wear sports goggles for the first month after LASIK to protect your eyes from accidentally getting hit or poked. Don’t worry about cleaning up after your workout. It’s typically safe to take a shower starting the day after the procedure—just make sure to keep soap and shampoo away from your eyes.

Should You Jump Right Back In?

If you’re not sure how long you need to wait after the procedure before resuming or trying a specific activity, just ask your doctor. If you want to learn more about what’s possible after LASIK, or to find out if you’re a good candidate, contact the Wichita eye doctors at Grene Laser today to schedule your free consultation.