If you’re an athlete, or play a lot of any kind of sport, `elective’ surgery is a decision you cannot take lightly. Too much depends on optimal health and fitness for you to go and mess it all up with an operation you don’t really need.
LASIK eye surgery is one rare exception in this case. The benefits of a specs-free, lens-free existence and the advantage of perfect 20/20 vision in the field is like a manna from heaven, sent by a sporty, energy force up there that wants you to raise the bar in your own game.
But is it really safe?
If you’re excited at the prospect of LASIK but worried at the same time about side effects, then first look at your poster boys in the game: Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Greg Maddux, to name just three of a few thousands professional athletes who have already undergone LASIK.
Of course, there are some sports that are more suitable than others, and some restrictions and rules you have to follow to get the fullest benefits from the procedure. Here’s some of them:
Commit To the Recovery Time, Or Don’t Get LASIK At All
The importance of giving your eyes sufficient time to heal cannot be stressed enough. Typically, athletes hate to be away from their game – and they’re known to be particularly keen to return right after LASIK to test their new perfect, 20/20 vision on the tracks or in the field. This would be a big mistake. Though you’re seeing perfectly, the inside of your eyes are still healing and as athletes you got to take way more precautions than most other people on account of what you do.
Avoid Eye Injury At All Costs
The primary concern for athletes is the risk of damaging the corneal flap while it is still in the process of healing. If the eye is hit soon after surgery before the patient fully recovers, there is fear of the corneal flap re-opening or becoming damaged and infected.
Be Aware Of Infections
When you’re out in the field, your face is likely to get covered in sweat, dust, mud and grime, all of which are significant irritants post-LASIK. In the heat of play, you may rub your eyes, like you normally do, and this action can hurt the cornea and the corneal flap.
Don’t Put REM-Related Stress On The Eyes
REM or rapid eye movement is exceedingly common in the playing field as your eyes follow the action of the game. After you’ve had LASIK, this movement causes needless stress on the healing eyes and may even lead to infection.
Some Sports Are Higher Risk Than Others
Athletes who play contact sports like boxing, wrestling or football have a higher risk of sustaining injury post-LASIK. Those who play more traditional sports like baseball or soccer have less chances of getting hit in the eye, and therefore make better candidates.