LASIK Eye Surgery for Athletes & LASIK in Sports

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LASIK Eye Surgery Information

Are Athletes Good Candidates for LASIK?

Does playing sports put an athlete at risk? Athletes may seem like the most obvious candidates for LASIK eye surgery. LASIK would eliminate the need for glasses and contacts, which are difficult to wear when playing contact sports. Glasses and contacts are inconvenient for anyone, but especially for athletes who play sports and don’t want to break their glasses or deal with the irritation that is caused when dirt or sweat interferes with contact lenses. Regardless of the obvious benefits, some people may wonder if athletes are good candidates for the LASIK eye surgery procedure. Can athletic activities disqualify athletes from being eligible for LASIK?

The answers vary depending on what sports they play but overall being an athlete does not necessary disqualify you from being a good candidate for LASIK. Most doctors will warn athletes that they may be at a higher risk for complications or infection after LASIK because contact sports will always put athletes at risk of injury. Athletes will have to plan on recovery time away from their sport. There is at least a two-week time period for recovery and depending on the sport, an athlete could be out of their game a little longer.

Some sports put LASIK patients at a higher risk than others. Athletes who play contact sports such as football, boxing or wrestling, are at a much higher risk for injury. Athletes playing traditional sports like baseball or soccer, are at a lower risk of injury. The main concern after LASIK is damage to the corneal flap as it heals. During LASIK the corneal flap created aides the laser in reshaping the cornea. If the eye is hit soon after surgery before the patient fully recovers, there is a risk of the corneal flap re-opening or becoming damaged and infected.

It’s also quite common for athletes to get sweat or dirt around their face while playing. This can irritate and lead to rubbing of the eyes, which may also cause damage to the cornea and/or the corneal flap. Athletes may also experience REM or rapid eye movement while playing as they focus on the action of the game. REM can cause unnecessary stresses to the eye and may also contribute to an injury or infection of the eye. These are all very good reasons for athletes to follow their LASIK doctor’s instructions and take recovery time very seriously.

Although there are many factors that determine whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK, in most cases being an athlete will not keep you from having LASIK eye surgery. As long as athletes are willing to put serious time and energy into their recovery period and take the allotted time off of their sport, they should be able to benefit from having LASIK. Many professional athletes have experienced the positive results of LASIK. Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Greg Maddux are just a few of the thousands of professional athletes who have chosen to have LASIK eye surgery. Some coaches and team managers encourage players to consider LASIK as an alternative to glasses and contacts. Even though contacts or glasses may aid an athlete’s vision, they are not the most ideal when an athlete is out there playing their sport.