Flying after Laser Eye Surgery: Dos and Don’ts

I love travelling. But for most of my life, wherever possible, I’ve done everything I can to avoid doing it by air.

From packing to picking up the bags, there’s not one single moment of it I enjoy. And that’s before considering airport security, the delays, and the basketball player sitting on the plane in the seat behind.

So even if it meant taking a 12-hour bus ride in the sweltering heat or three tuk-tuks, a boat, and a train to avoid one flight, I would always find a way.

The thing is, I’ve got sensitive eyes. And ever since I was a kid, when we’d go on package holidays to Mallorca and I’d sit throughout the whole flight with my hands glued to my face, I’ve associated flying with endless hours of torment.

I haven’t always known that my eyes were the source of my hatred of air travel. In fact, I would have never have realised it if it wasn’t until recently, after having Laser Eye Surgery a few years ago, I decided to give flying another shot.

Everything that usually goes wrong, did — having my bag searched, problems with my visa, a half-hour delay — but strangely, none of it bothered me like before. With my sensitive eyes out of the picture, all went swimmingly. They didn’t flare up and get itchy, and whenever I felt even a tad of discomfort coming on, I just resorted to my trusty drops.

Now, instead of being an experience riddled with frustration and disappointment, I can enjoy flying for what it is (and avoid the long, painful journeys by land).

But I’m not so naive to think that my issue is resolved forever. Occasionally, if I don’t stick to the guidelines, I can still run into a few problems. No other time was this truer than after having Laser Eye Surgery.

Make sure air travel remains a pleasure for you and follow our guide to the dos and don’ts of flying after Laser Eye Surgery.

Flying High With Crystal Clear Vision

The number one rule regarding flying after Laser Eye Surgery is to hold off until you’ve been given the all clear by your doctor.

It’s not as if you’ll be waiting long. For the majority of patients, it’s again safe to fly as little as 24 hours after Laser Eye Surgery, and so you could well be in the air the very next day after your procedure.

If you’re jetting off on holiday right away or have flown in to see us, it’ll be recommended to keep your eye drops handy throughout the whole duration of the flight. Although your eyes will be well on their way to recovering, they’ll still be a little sensitive. Lubricating drops help ensure your eyes are kept moist and comfortable in the low humidity of the cabin, and that the rest of the healing process continues smoothly.

To further look after your peepers, it’s also advised to keep them closed and get as much rest as possible during the flight. In the dry atmosphere, you want to avoid activities that put extra strain on your eyes — things like computer work, reading, and watching movies. As hydration is also important for keeping your eyes moist, you’ll also want to avoid the bar and instead pack an extra few bottles of water.

Lastly, aeroplanes are not known for being the cleanest places around — with the tray tables and the toilets being the two biggest offenders. For this reason, you want to be extra careful not to rub or touch your eyes as doing so may transfer dust or harmful bacteria to them. Two things that can really help are a small bottle of antibacterial hand wash and an eye mask for preventing eye rubbing as well as aiding sleep.

Whether you’re flying back home, are off on your jollies, or are going away on business, you’ll also want to check out our general recovery guidelines for the do’s and don’ts during the first few weeks following your procedure.