Athletes must always be on their A game, anticipate the next move before it happens, and tune out any distractions. If disrupted by vision problems, though, they can become limited in their athletic abilities.
Obstacles athletes commonly encounter from their eyewear include injuries from broken glasses, issues with peripheral vision, irritation from dust underneath contacts, and/or fogged up lenses. Undergoing LASIK eye surgery, however, would eliminate these setbacks by correcting vision problems and ensuring minimal distractions and inconveniences due to eyewear. While athletes may have a strong desire to have the procedure, they must understand the LASIK recovery time.
It is important for any athlete to know how long to wait after LASIK surgery before getting back in the game. For example, swimmers must wait at least two weeks before getting back in the pool. Surgeons suggest that runners and participants in contact sports (i.e., soccer, baseball, and football) allow for a recovery of at least two days.
Although athletes involved in contact sports have a shorter down time after LASIK surgery, they are at the greatest risk of complications during recovery. A doctor’s main concern for these patients is damage to the corneal flap as it heals. This is because there is risk of the flap re-opening and getting damaged or infected if hit or rubbed too soon during the LASIK recovery time. Because of this, these athletes must wear protective eyewear for about a month after the procedure.
While sports legends Tiger Woods and LeBron James have undergone LASIK eye surgery and promoted its benefits in sports, all athletes must consult with their doctor before the procedure to discuss their LASIK recovery time. To find out if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery, call (404) 778-2733.
About Dr. Joung (John) Kim
Joung (John) Y. Kim, MD, serves on the faculty of the Emory Eye Center in the Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery section. His areas of expertise include: refractive surgery, the management of corneal and external eye diseases, cataract surgery, and refractive surgery. He began performing laser refractive surgery in 2000.
Dr. Kim serves on the Ophthalmic Device Committee of the FDA. He served on the Refractive Management/Intervention Self-Assessment team of the AAO from 2004-2006. He serves as a Skills Transfer Course Monitor for AAO. He serves as ophthalmology preceptor for the Ophthalmology Ambulatory Care Rotation at Emory University School of Medicine. In 2009, he visited Peru where he volunteered time as a visiting surgeon through ORBIS, the flying eye hospital.