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Can You Drive After LASEK?

  • October 18, 2021

In our world of instant gratification, we want results as soon as possible. If you are considering LASEK corrective eye surgery, one of the main benefits is nearly perfect vision right after surgery. LASEK is widely considered the most popular surgery choice due to minimal recovery time and improved, clear vision very quickly after surgery with little to no pain or downtime. While you are likely to have the visual capability of hitting the open road, driving on your own will need to wait until you have been given all clear by your doctor. 

Patients can’t and shouldn’t drive themselves home after the LASEK surgery procedure. You will need a friend or family member to drive you home safely. Some patients may feel drowsy due to the sedative given to them before the procedure. Many others experience mild glares or halos and light sensitivity due to bright lights or sunlight. Your surgeon will provide you with protective eye shields to help you refrain from touching, bumping or rubbing your eyes. Patients may need lubricating drops as well. It is recommended to rest your eyes as much as possible within the first 72 hours following LASEK surgery. As with any surgery, risks and recovery time vary. Although LASEK has a high success rate of marked improvement, no surgery is full proof. Mild symptoms are usually temporary but can last a few days to a week after surgery. Dry eye is common and can make vision inconsistent in the early healing process. Some patients may still have the need for glasses for driving. It is always recommended to wear sunglasses for driving after LASEK surgery.

Typically, your first post-operative appointment will be the following day. With this exam, your doctor will test your visual acuity to confirm your vision meets the legal requirement of 20/40 to drive. If your license indicates that you wear corrective lenses, you’ll want to set a reminder to update your information with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days. 

The most important part of the LASEK recovery period is your follow-up appointments. Patients can typically expect a post-operative follow up the day after surgery, another appointment with 3-4 weeks, and then again at the 6-month mark. While you may need to wait a few extra days before using electronic devices such as the TV or computer, the great news is that your vision will most likely be improved enough to drive yourself back to your doctor’s office to ensure proper recovery post-surgery. Because it is necessary to follow all safety precautions given by your doctor, once your doctor has evaluated and deemed your vision sufficient for safe driving, you will be able to drive again.

For more frequently asked questions and to schedule your LASEK evaluation or appointment, contact the team at BoozmanHof by 479-246-1700 or website