Can I play sport after having SMILE, LASIK or PRK surgery?

This is a common question posed by our patients. One of the popular reasons patients seek eye laser surgery is due to their frustration of  putting contacts in to play sport, losing a contact on the field, getting dirt in their eye and ending up with a scratchy irritated eye. All of these situations make life playing sport frustrating. Wearing glasses in a fast paced sport is impossible and many that don’t wear contacts, play without any visual aids.

So it makes sense that this question would be relevant for our patients.

The simple answer is YES, you can carry on with your regular sports activities soon after having laser eye surgery, except in the case of PRK, approx 2 weeks.

General rules are:

1) Keep your eyes well lubricated with artificial tears and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV

2) Avoid dusty and dirty environments for a week after the surgery

3) You may shower after surgery, however swimming in a public swimming pool, spa or on the ocean is best avoided for the first 2 weeks after surgery

4) Avoid strenuous exercise for a week following surgery to allow the eyes time to heal

SMILE and LASIK are excellent procedures for most professional and part-time sports. PRK may be better for those who do high contact sports such as wrestling or boxing and work in the armed forces. SMILE is a good option for football players.

All surgical procedures carry a small risk of complication, these are discussed in detail at the time of your consultation.

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About the expert

Dr Anton van Heerden, MBCHB; FRANZCO
Ophthalmologist & Laser Eye Surgeon

Based in Melbourne, but with a reputation that transcends borders, Dr Van Heerden sets the highest bar for laser vision correction surgery in Australia. While his skills and experience are second to none, it is his fun, caring and down to earth nature that truly set’s him apart from the rest. You can sit back and enjoy the journey knowing every detail has been carefully considered.