Can you drive after LASIK?

LASIK is a quick and easy eye surgery, and one of the safest and most common medical procedures performed in the United States.

It’s so quick you might be tempted to drive yourself home afterwards. You may think “It’s fine, it’s so fast that I’m not going to be affected that much.” But that isn’t true.

Driving after LASIK

You shouldn’t drive after you’ve had a LASIK procedure. Driving after LASIK is a bad idea for several reasons.

First, your eyes have just been operated on. Though your vision will be better over the long term you might have some short-term fuzziness or blurring. The severity can vary from person to person, but in general it will last for a few hours after the procedure.

But even if you’re not dealing with fuzziness, there are other reasons you should have a friend, family member, or rideshare take you home.

Every LASIK procedure involves a sedative. When you take that sedative, you’ll feel drowsy and your reaction times will be slowed. This is a risk factor for driving, much like drugs or alcohol. You won’t be able to react to road hazards at the speed you normally would. You’ll have trouble staying awake, especially if it’s a longer drive. It’s a bad idea to take your car there and back.

You’ll also have to take some drops to open up your iris. These drops make your eye much more sensitive to light. Think of a camera that’s set on too high an exposure—everything is washed out and way too bright. You’re going to deal with the same thing with your eyes.

Driving while you’re in this state can be troublesome at any time of the day. It’s particularly problematic at night, though. The glare from headlights can make it impossible to see the road, oncoming vehicles or hazards. During the day you’ll be squinting against the brightness.

Avoiding driving

The drugs you take for LASIK are another important risk factor. Though you may have some blurriness, it’s far more important that you avoid the impaired judgment and slower reaction times that come with the sedatives you take before a surgery.

Err on the side of caution. Stay safe. Don’t drive after LASIK.

If you’re thinking about getting LASIK, contact Oklahoma City Vision today. Your eyes are our top priority. Find out what makes us the best choice for your ocular health.