When Is It Safe to Go Swimming After Laser Eye Surgery?

Most patients who have undergone LASIK can return to swimming (with goggles) in the second week. If you have ReLex SMILE, you may be able to get back to other activities, such as swimming, much sooner. Immediately after the procedure, however, it is best to avoid swimming. You should stay away from swimming pools for two to four weeks and out of rivers and lakes for up to eight weeks.

This is because seawater contains many organisms that could damage a cornea that has been compromised by refractive surgical procedures. Even swimming pools, with chlorination, can cause problems with foreign particles entering the incisions that are healing. The first thing you can do after laser eye surgery is take a shower, which you can usually do a few days later, usually two or three days. Your eyes will be more sensitive than usual during the first week, so even tap water that comes into contact with your eyes can be annoying.

It is important to keep your eyes from drying out and itching, so it's important that you use lubricating drops often and avoid rubbing your eyes. The second week after laser eye surgery is when you can re-introduce more physical sports into your life, including racquet sports, such as squash, tennis and badminton (with eye protection), as well as sports such as soccer, sailing and mountain biking. There has been some concern that the pressure exerted while diving could cause injury to an eye undergoing laser surgical procedures, but this concern is largely unfounded. Having dry eyes shouldn't directly affect the outcome of laser eye surgery; however, it will cause discomfort during the healing process and may also cause temporary visual fluctuations. We recommend that you avoid high-impact sports, such as boxing or martial arts, for at least one month after laser eye surgery.

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