How soon after laser eye treatment can I swim?

plying sport after laser eye surgery

You’re told one of the most important things you can do after Laser Eye Surgery is to keep your eyes from drying out.

Within 24 hours using your tablet or phone, reading, and watching TV is all fine, as long as you keep up with your lubricating drops.

Flying at this point in time is also fine but again, you’re reminded to keep up with your drops. Our clinical staff may even advise some gel on long haul flights to help with this.

So you’ll keep the trusty lubricated drops at hand and frequently administer little drops of goodness to our eyes whenever they feel thirsty.

But if our eyes are so fond of being moist and lubricated after Laser Eye Surgery, surely rushing back to the pool or sea for a nice dip will be like heaven for them?

Erm… Sadly, no.

Caring for your eyes after Laser Eye Surgery

Whereas lubricated eye drops contain a specific set of ingredients which work to keep the eyes moist, prevent symptoms of dry eye such as itching and irritation, and protect them from injuries and infections, other liquids can actually cause the opposite.

Knowledge Dispels Fear

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join over 5,000 people already receiving the very best advice on Laser Eye Surgery ...

Newsletter CTA
Your personal data is secure

And when it comes to public or private swimming holes, you don’t have to look far to find an array of suspects that can harm your eyes.

The reality is when recovering from Laser Eye Surgery our eyes are more sensitive than usual, so even tap water touching your eyes can be troublesome in the first week. It’s one of the main reasons why it’s recommended to take a bath instead of a shower until 24 hours after surgery. And of course, why swimming, or entering saunas, whirlpools, and lakes, is not something you should rush right back into.

So when can I swim after Laser Eye Surgery?

Within a few days after Laser Eye Surgery — generally by day 3 — you can return to exercise or activities that do not affect your eyes, such as lifting weights, using a stationary bike or treadmill, but not yet swimming.

In the second week following Laser Eye Surgery, more physical sports appear back on the safe list, including racquet sports such as squash, tennis, and badminton (with eye protection), as well as things like football, sailing, mountain biking, and yes, swimming (with goggles).

For professionals and amateur swimmers alike this will be the time you’ve been looking forward to most: the chance to get back in your natural habitat and experience a whole new perspective of the underwater world.

Have a question about Laser Eye Surgery? Ask us in the comments below or visit our section on recovery to find out more. To speak directly with a Laser Eye Surgery expert call us on 020 7224 1005.




How soon after laser eye treatment can I swim?

  1. Reema alzoman 15/08/2017 at 08:29

    Can I swim before the laser surgery within two days??

    • Bethany Kingsley 15/08/2017 at 09:52

      Hi Reema,

      Thanks for your comment. You can swim as normal before surgery. Following surgery you will be signed off by your surgeon at the one day post-operative visit as to what activities you can resume. It is usually a week before you can swim.

      London Vision Clinic

  2. Shahana J. 16/08/2017 at 16:41

    Is it okay to swim after two weeks of surgery without googles?

    • Bethany Kingsley 17/08/2017 at 08:03

      Hi Shahana, You would need to be signed off by your surgeon at your one day post-operative visit, but usually patients are able to swim 1 week after surgery if they have had the LASIK or SMILE procedures.
      London Vision Clinic

Leave a Comment