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When Can I Go For Swimming After The Lasik Eye Surgery?

February 24, 2022

In LASIK, a flap is created in the cornea of the eye. Then the corneal flap is gently lifted and excimer layer is used for reshaping the eye. The flap is later put back on, which heals naturally. Once done, the cornea focuses the light accurately on the retina. It helps in creating sharp and clear images leading to perfect vision. LASIK is used for treating vision problems, which include near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism.

You should avoid contact with water and hence avoid swimming immediately after LASIK surgery. You should consult your surgeon regarding the same. You should adhere to the instructions as directed by your surgeon to avoid any compilations. Your eyes are more vulnerable to infections and irritations for a few weeks of surgery as your cornea is still healing.

Risk Of Going To Swimming After Lasik Eye Surgery

The swimming pools are chlorinated for disinfection. The chlorine in the water may reach toxic proportions for vulnerable eyes causing complications. Chlorine used in pool water is toxic for the tear film of the eye. It may lead to discomfort, redness in the eye, irritation, dry eyes, or interfere with sensitivity.

Natural bodies of water such as the sea, lakes, rivers, and ponds aren’t chlorinated. However, they may have toxic levels of microorganisms which cause infection and eye diseases. The bacteria may also enter the inner part of the eye through the corneal flap opening and give rise to sight threatening infections. Also, it contains dirt and sand particles, which may irritate the eye.

Time Frame For Swimming

You may follow these timelines and general guidelines.

  • The first two weeks after surgery:  You should avoid getting into pools for swimming in the first week after surgery. Your significant eye healing takes place in the first week. Your corneal incisions are still healing. Exposing the eyes to unclean water can increase infection risk.
  • The third week after surgery: you must enter the pools only with well fitting goggles to protect the eyes
  • Four and Fifth weeks after surgery: You can swim in swimming pools and natural water bodies without goggles and engage in low-impact water sports.
  • Six weeks: Once you reach six weeks, you can enter the water without worries. You should also take care of your eye post-surgery.
  • Always wear your sunglasses when you are outdoors. It is to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. UV rays can damage the eyes. Wear your sunglasses when you are at the pool or beach. It is essential in the first six weeks of surgery.

What Measure Should I Follow While Swimming After Lasik Eye Surgery?

  • Swimming pool water or seawater enters your eye: Do not worry if your eyes sting. Kindly wash your eye with clean water. Do not rub your eyes. Use the eye drops which your surgeon prescribes. If none, try using the artificial eye drops few times a day.
  • Eyes turn red after swimming: This happens when you open the eyes underwater. The chlorine in the water irritates the eye. Use artificial tear or antibiotic drops a few times a day. If symptoms persist after a day or worsen, it is best to see the doctor. The doctor will check for infection and will help you with medication accordingly.
  • Wait after LASIK eye surgery: You should wait for 3-4 weeks before entering the swimming pools. You should also avoid using soaps and shampoo overhead for at least the first week after the surgery. Your eyes are extremely vulnerable and sensitive after the surgery. You should be extra cautious about your eyes for the first few weeks after the LASIK. You should always wear your sunglasses when you are going out.
  • Drink plenty of water: You should drink plenty of water after surgery. It helps in keeping eyes hydrated and moist. It also helps in preventing the severe dry eye problem after LASIK. You should always use the drops as directed.
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