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Swimming and exercise after laser eye surgery

Another common patient question is "When can I swim / go back to the gym / exercise after laser eye surgery?" Although some downtime following surgery is advised, it is not long.

Returning to sports after LASIK

Recovery after laser eye surgery is quick and most patients are able to return to normal function within 48 hours.

On the day of the surgery itself, it’s very important to protect the surface of your eyes as they heal. You’ll be given artificial tear drops to use fairly intensively to keep them well moisturised. Your eyes may become sore and light sensitive and you may well find looking at screens uncomfortable. So that evening, put your phone down and listen to some music instead. 

For the first two days, we recommend you keep your head out of the shower to avoid water contact with your eyes. Try taking a bath instead. This is because your eyes are more sensitive to your environment and, in particular, more vulnerable to infection. Swimming pools, spas, saunas are all best avoided during this period.

By day 3, you can shower as normal and return to light gym work (treadmill, exercise bike).

After a week it’s safe to resume swimming (either pool or sea), and other activities including racquet sports. Swimming goggles are advised for the first month. Contact sports should be avoided for the first month.

TransPRK and LASEK are a bit different

Recovery after TransPRK is slower than with LASIK and it's best to avoid sports for at least the first week. At your one week review, we will be able to give you advice specific to your recovery.