Why Swimming Should Be Avoided During LASIK Recovery

LASIK Recovery and Swimming - Hudson Valley, NY

Sep 6, 2017 @ 01:30 PM — by Richard Gordon
Tagged with: Lasik | Recovery |

A woman swimmingPatients throughout the Hudson Valley have benefited from undergoing LASIK surgery at our practice. LASIK has helped them see clearly without the air of glasses or contacts. Following the brief surgical procedure, patients are given careful instructions to follow in order to prevent infection and other complications.

Returning to all normal activities prior to surgery can take a few weeks. Swimming in particular needs to be avoided. Let's take a moment to consider why.

Preventing Infection and Irritation After LASIK

After undergoing LASIK surgery, it's of the utmost importance that potential infection be avoided at all costs. Inflammation of the eyes can affect the overall results of surgery, which is why great care is taken to prevent accidental rubbing of the eyes as well as any contact with vectors for infection.

Patients will be asked to avoid touching the area around heir eyes and to wear eye shields the first few days after LASIK surgery as a safety precaution. It's also common to ask patients to avoid certain activities. Swimming is one such activity.

The Dangers of Swimming After LASIK Surgery

Patients will be able to swim after LASIK surgery once they have fully healed. There are no long-term affects on the susceptibility of the eyes to infection after LASIK after the first few weeks.

However, as patients are healing from LASIK, they will need to avoid swimming in pools, the in the ocean, and in lakes. The eyes are highly vulnerable to all kinds of infection and conditions, and contact with water can make these issues more likely. In chlorinated pools, the chemicals in the water can lead to extreme discomfort of the eyes, which might lead to rubbing the eyes and impact the final outcome of surgery.

What If I Wear Goggles?

Even if you have goggles on, it's a good idea to avoid swimming until your LASIK surgeon has informed you otherwise. Water, bacterial, and other substances can still seep in around the googles. If the water gets in your eyes, it can lead to infection and serious irritation.

While goggles protect your eyes, it's best to avoid swimming altogether until your surgeon gives you the go ahead.

How Long Should I Avoid Swimming?

There are some guidelines to follow about swimming after LASIK:

  • Patients will not be allowed to swim for the first two weeks after LASIK surgery
  • After two weeks, patients will be able to swim only when wearing goggles
  • Patients can return to normal swimming a month after LASIK surgery, with or without glasses

There are just general guidelines to consider. Your LASIK surgeon will be able to provide a more definitive timeline when it comes to swimming again.

What About Hot Tubs?

Hot tubs can be even more dangerous than swimming pools given the heat, the steam, and other factors. Patients will want to avoid hot tubs and saunas for at least six weeks to be on the safe side.

Other Activities to Avoid After LASIK Surgery

In addition to avoiding swimming and hot tubs after LASIK, patients will also want to avoid the following:

  • Use of tobacco products
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Heavy lifting
  • Use of eye makeup

Your surgeon will provide guidelines on when these activities can be resumed during the consultation process.

Contact Palisades Laser Eye Center

For more information about your vision care options and how we can help you see clearly, be sure to contact our laser eye surgery center today. Our vision correction team will be sure to answer your questions and address your concerns in full detail.