After LASIK, your eyes will be extremely delicate. It’s important that they be protected from potential infection as well as from issues with the epithelial flap. This is why eye surgeons have such detailed do’s and don’ts for patients after any sort of surgical procedure. By preventing complications, patients can experience the best vision possible.
Since it’s summertime, may patients who undergo LASIK over the next few months will wonder when they can swim again. The team at our McAllen, TX eye care center would like to consider swimming after laser eye surgery, and what LASIK patients can expect as they heal from surgery.
Risk of Eye Infection While Recovering
As we noted above, the eyes are extremely vulnerable after LASIK has been performed. It’s important that patients wear their eye shields after surgery and avoid any situations that would increase the risk of infection. This includes swimming. Exposing the eye area to water means a risk of bacteria and other contaminants getting in contact with the eye before it is fully healed.
This is why LASIK patient will need to wait a while before they return to swimming, even during the summer when swimming may be all you want to do.
Avoid Pools and Other Bodies of Water
While pools contain chlorine to help eliminate bacteria, these chemicals can lead to serious irritation for people who have undergone an eye surgery. Even if you’re wearing goggles, stay away from pools until your surgeon advises otherwise.
As for the ocean, rivers, and lakes, it’s best to avoid these bodies of waters as well. Stay out of the water, and avoid swimming, jet skis, water skiing, or other activities in which this water can splash into your eyes.
Stay Out of Hot Tubs and Saunas
Hot tubs and saunas are even worse than pools in this regard. The warm water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and the steam can result in bacteria contacting the eyes. You’ll want to stay away from these types of places until your surgeon says it’s okay.
Time Frames for Swimming After LASIK
When it comes to swimming and other activities in the water after LASIK, consider these time frames and guidelines:
- Two Weeks Before Swimming with Goggles in Pools - About two weeks after eye surgery, you should be able to swim in pools while wearing goggles. Make sure to keep your eyes safe and protected.
- Three Weeks Before Swimming with Goggles in Bodies of Water - Given the contaminants and bacteria in bodies of water, wait three weeks before swimming with goggles in rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
- Four/Five Weeks Before Swimming without Goggles - About a month after eye surgery, you can swim without goggles in pools and other bodies of water. By then your eyes should be healed enough, but wait for your surgeon’s go ahead.
- Six Weeks Before Using Hot Tubs or Saunas - To be extra cautious, hot tubes and saunas should be avoided until the six week mark.
Learn More About LASIK Surgery
For more information about LASIK recovery and what the healing process is like, be sure to contact an experienced eye surgeon. The team at Peña Eye Institute is here to help you get the answers you need for all of your questions about surgery.