How long after Laser Eye Surgery do I have to wait to have alcohol?

laser eye surgery procedure

If you’re a long-term glasses or contact lens wearer, Laser Eye Surgery is sure to change your life forever.

For starters, you’ll be able to wake up and immediately see the world in sharp focus, without first having to search the house or scramble to get yourself in front of a mirror.

Then there’s the limit of which activities and sports you can participate in, suddenly no longer an issue as you’re now free from any external eyewear.

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Not forgetting there’ll be no more awkward interruptions to your day such as realising you’ve left your glasses at home or losing a pesky little contact right before a meeting.

These problems are so common they motivate thousands of people each year to do away with their outdated methods of vision correction and find out more about Laser Eye Surgery.

And whether you’ve already booked your consultation or are simply doing some reading up, there’s no doubt you’ll be just as eager to find out as much as possible about the procedure and process.

One of the questions high on many people’s lists is whether or not you can drink alcohol during the preparation and recovery stages.

Read more about drinking alcohol and preparing for Laser Eye Surgery.

Following surgery, it’s only natural to want to celebrate or relax with a glass of your favourite drink. But even if that’s not your thing, you may have a work do or a social event planned for the night of the surgery. Whatever the reason, finding out if you can drink alcohol after the procedure is paramount to ensuring your recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

In general, patients can drink alcohol the day after their Laser Eye Surgery, although how long exactly until you can drink may be different depending on your individual case. 

Most surgeons recommend a period of 24 hours without alcohol to allow your body to get the recovery process underway. However, as recovery is influenced by several factors including your age and overall health, the doctor may advise you to wait several days more.

Ensuring A Trouble-Free Recovery

As you may have gathered, alcohol can have a negative effective on your recovery from Laser Eye Surgery. This is for several reasons.

Ranging from how it impacts the body’s ability to return to full health to how it influences our awareness and actions, here are three of the main ways in which alcohol can hinder your recovery:

Dehydration

A common and temporary side effect of Laser Eye Surgery is ‘dry eye’. This occurs while the tear ducts are adjusting, and there’s a lack of moisture to keep the eyes from drying out.

As drinking alcohol dehydrates the body, it can increase the effects of dry eye. Although you’ll be given lubricating eye drops to help manage dry eye, alcohol may further exacerbate the symptoms and make your eyes uncomfortable.

Decreased Attention

It’s pretty easy to look after your eyes following Laser Eye Surgery. However, there are certain guidelines you must adhere to if you want to  ensure you steer clear of any complications.

One of these is taking care not to rub your eyes for at least the first few days. As many of us are all too aware, drinking alcohol can cause a dip in our level of thinking and concentration. When recovering from Laser Eye Surgery, this could mean rubbing away at your eyes unconsciously and causing damage to the healing area.

Increased Swelling

Another reason to watch your consumption of alcohol post surgery is due to the way in which it increases swelling in the body.

Alcohol is a vasodilator: an agent that widens the blood vessels and therefore increases blood flow. Although there is only a small amount of swelling in the eye after surgery, it’s important to allow your eyes a period without alcohol so as not to prolong or worsen its effects.

We know that drinking alcohol can be bad for us. One word: Hangover. But there are other, more acute reasons why alcohol can be harmful when recovering after surgery. Fortunately, the recovery period after Laser Eye Surgery is incredibly short compared to most other procedures, and so, you’ll be enjoying your new improved vision with a sip of your favourite alcoholic beverage before you know it.

If you’d like to book a consultation with us or find out more about current 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’

How long after Laser Eye Surgery do I have to wait to have alcohol