LASIK and Lifestyle
LASIK can improve your lifestyle and open up an array of career opportunities. When LASIK was a new procedure, it was not allowed for people in certain professions, such as pilots, and was not appropriate for athletes who played contact sports professionally or recreationally. As the technology and techniques improved, most of those restrictions were lifted. Talk to your LASIK eye surgeon to find out what type of laser eye surgery is recommended or required for your profession or a career choice you are considering. You may also need to discuss it with your employer.
Excellent vision is a requirement for certain professions. In certain situations, such as combat or firefighting, glasses and contact lenses can pose a safety hazard. Many employers that do not allow traditional LASIK have decided to accept iLASIK, which is blade-free wavefront guided LASIK. Today, LASIK can benefit you if you are currently or considering pursuing a career such as:
- Professional athlete
- Law enforcement
- Fire fighter
- Other type of first responder
- Whitewater rafting guide
LASIK can bring more joy, comfort, and freedom into your life. Whether you lead an active lifestyle or spend more time on indoor hobbies that require sharp vision, LASIK lets you enjoy your favorite leisure activities without the hindrance of wearing glasses or contacts.
Active Lifestyle Considerations
You can now have blade-free LASIK and continue to pursue activities that posed too much risk of dislodging the corneal flap with traditional LASIK. However, you must let your LASIK surgeon know about your activities and follow the postoperative instructions to the letter. For many sports and activities, you will need to wait longer than the standard recovery time, and wear protective eyewear for a certain period of time.
Contact sports are no longer prohibited after LASIK. After traditional LASIK the risk of dislodging the flap, if you took a blow to the face, was too great. Your eye surgeon will tell you how long you need to wait to return to your sport and how long you will need to wear protective eyewear when participating. LASIK is now appropriate if you enjoy sports such as:
- Baseball or softball
There are some exceptions. If you participate in combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing and martial arts, where frequent blows to the face and eyes are the norm, you should consider an alternative procedure such as PRK, LASEK, or epi-LASIK.
Water activities often are made more enjoyable by LASIK:
- Scuba diving
You will be required to stay out of both natural and chlorinated water for a period ranging from two weeks to two months. This includes hot tubs and whirlpools as well as swimming pools and natural bodies of water. You must protect your eyes from chlorine and bacteria while they heal.
LASIK is also suitable for those who enjoy high-altitude activities such as mountain climbing and skiing. Talk to your LASIK surgeon about how long you need to wait and any steps you should take to avoid dry eye and other complications caused by dry air and high winds.
To learn more about LASIK and lifestyle, please search this directory for a list of LASIK surgeons in your area.