Driving after LASIK Surgery

January 31, 2017 — by Stanley Teplick
Tags: Lasik Eye Care

A car driving on the roadLASIK surgery, also known as laser eye surgery, is an effective treatment that can improve your vision. However, patients can’t drive immediately after treatment. Dr. Stanley Teplick answers patient questions about driving after LASIK surgery during consultations at his Portland, OR practice. For answers to your questions, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, read this overview for a general understanding of when driving can resume after LASIK surgery.

What Is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is a procedure used to correct vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. A special laser is used to create a thin flap in the cornea. The flap is then folded back and the cornea is reshaped to improve vision. The flap is put back in place to complete treatment.

Can I Drive Home after LASIK?

Even if vision seems clear enough, patients cannot drive themselves home after LASIK surgery. Instead, they will need arrange for a friend of family member to drive them. It is important for patients not to drive after LASIK surgery because vision to be blurry for several hours or couple of days after treatment. The eyes may also be sensitive to light and water excessively during the first few hours after surgery, making it difficult to see if attempting to drive. Additionally, most patients are given a mild sedative when undergoing LASIK surgery. This sedative generally makes patients too drowsy to safely drive after surgery.

When Can I Drive after LASIK Surgery?

Many patients are eager to drive after LASIK surgery to “test out” their improved vision and wonder how long they must wait before driving again. The length of time can vary by individual, but most people are given doctor's approval to drive the day after surgery. Generally, vision is evaluated the day after LASIK surgery during a post-op exam. During this exam, a doctor will check the patient's vision without corrective lenses, making sure that visual acuity falls within the legal requirement for driving. Once vision is sufficient, patients will be allowed to drive again.

Candidates for LASIK Surgery

LASIK surgery can help those with vision problems to see more clearly, without the need for corrective lenses. However, the procedure is not right for everyone. Those who are pregnant or nursing, or have chronic dry eye and certain eye disease, like glaucoma and keratoconus, are generally not suitable candidates. Ideal candidates include those who are in good general health, have had stable vision for at least one year prior to surgery, and over 18 years of age.

Find out if LASIK Surgery Is Right for You

LASIK surgery has helped thousands of patients experience the joy of clearer vision. If you dream of seeing clearly without contacts or glasses, LASIK surgery may be right for you. For more information about LASIK surgery, or to find out if you're a candidate, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Teplick.