Good eyesight is vital for most sports. So, for keen swimmers and athletes who would like to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of glasses and contacts, eye surgery is an attractive option. However, before proceeding, sports enthusiasts should consider several factors, including typical recovery time and which types of surgery may or may not be suitable. Read on for the lowdown on sports and eye surgery.

Does eye surgery improve sporting performance?

Is there a connection between eye surgery and sporting prowess? Certainly, many successful athletes and sports personalities are performing at their peak following surgery. Celebrity sportspeople who have benefited from eye surgery include golfing megastar Tiger Woods and international footballer Mario Balotelli.

Man riding bike up a hill: sports and eye surgeryAt the very highest level, 20/20 vision could mean the difference between winning and losing; while for keen amateurs, ditching the contacts and being able to concentrate on the game can definitely improve your overall experience.

While opting for eye surgery is a very personal choice for each individual athlete, following in the footsteps of Tiger Woods could mean that your vision is simply one less thing to worry about on the sports field.

Is LASIK the best option for athletes?

Sports and eye surgery don’t always mix well, depending on the sport and the type of surgery. For non-contact sports including cricket, golf and swimming, there’s usually no reason why athletes cannot undergo LASIK surgery. Always check with your specialist to get individual advice for your own situation and medical history.

If you are involved in contact sports such as rugby, boxing or martial arts, LASIK may still be a suitable surgical option providing that you refrain from participating in the sport for six weeks afterwards. LASEK and PRK (photoreactive keratectomy) are two other popular choices for people who play contact sports.

How long after surgery until you can play sports again?

Laser eye surgery typically has a short recovery time; however when it comes to sports and eye surgery, you may need to wait a little longer to get back on the pitch. In the immediate days and weeks following eye surgery, it’s important to give your eyes sufficient time to heal.

Tennis player hitting ball: sports and eye surgery

  • You could be back doing aerobic exercise like running or yoga in as little as 3 days following surgery. So there’s no need to worry about losing your fitness!
  • Tennis, badminton and football could be resumed after 1-2 weeks.
  • You should wait at least 2-3 weeks before going swimming, and you should initially wear goggles when you do so, to protect your eyes from infection.
  • For contact sports like boxing, you should wait around six weeks after undergoing eye surgery before returning to the ring.

Always be guided by your surgeon. They will be able to give you tailored advice based on your own surgical outcomes.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about how sports and eye surgery could work for you, contact us to book a consultation. Call free on 0808 133 2020 or fill in our online booking form.