Drinking after LASIK

In the hours and days after having Laser Eye Surgery, you’re sure to feel like celebrating.

Suddenly the troubles you’ve put up with for so long have vanished, and you’re able to see the world with greater clarity and with greater freedom. Each morning you awake to the surprise that you no longer need to fiddle with contact lenses or fumble for your glasses to start your day. There are no longer any restrictions on which activities and sports you can engage with, opening you up to things like swimming, skiing, diving, and watersports. And perhaps most important of all — if you were a contact wearer — your chance of developing an infection or eye disease is a fraction of what it was.

All of the above are clear causes for celebration, and as one of the world’s largest consumers of alcohol, one of our favourite ways to do so in the UK is to pour a nice glass of wine or grab a few beers.

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Getting tipsy after Laser Eye Surgery

Unlike other more invasive surgical procedures, the recovery period following Laser Eye Surgery is quick and painless. There are, however, certain guidelines patients need to follow to ensure it stays that way.

These guidelines will be outlined in detail by your surgeon and will include the likes of not rubbing your eyes, avoiding activity that could lead to direct contact with your eyes, making sure to keep your eyes well lubricated with the eye drops provided, and last but not least, temporarily avoiding any alcohol.

Alcohol has a mild diuretic effect on the body and can leave one slightly dehydrated. Hence the feeling one gets with a hangover (mainly due to being dehydrated). One of the negative features of being dehydrated is that your eyes have a tendency to be drier during that time. Due to the fact that your eyes have just had surgery, your eyes will be the driest over the first 24 hour period. This is why we advocate very frequent use of eye drops and no alcohol during this period.

Fortunately, as recovery following Laser Eye Surgery is relatively quick — with the majority of patients returning to work the very next day —  most surgeons recommended waiting around 24 hours until you drink alcohol again.

So it won’t be too long before you’re celebrating by curling up with a glass of red wine or having a few beers with your friends. But do bear in mind, if you’d like to prolong your new improved eyesight for as long as possible, it’s important to consider the longer-term effects alcohol can have on your vision.

Like most things, drinking alcohol when done in moderation will do you little harm (if not some good), but in regards to your eyesight, going heavy on the sauce can increase your chances of things like early onset macular degeneration and optic neuropathy.

If you’d like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic or find out more about alcohol and recovering from Laser Eye Surgery, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.

This article has been updated for 2017 to ‘Quick Guide: Laser Eye Surgery and Alcohol’

Drinking after LASIK