When can I drive after laser eye treatment?

Laser Eye Surgery test at London Vision Clinic

After having your gall bladder removed, it can be around 2 weeks before you’re back into your normal routine.

What about knee surgery? Try more like 6 weeks.

Hip replacement? I’m afraid that’s 3 months away from the dance floor.

The recovery period following surgery can often be long and gruelling. But unfortunately, there’s simply no avoiding it.

So when it comes to Laser Eye Surgery, you’ll expect nothing less than weeks and weeks of impaired movement, eye patches, and plenty of bumps and falls.

But in actual fact this couldn’t be further from the truth. The vast majority of Laser Eye Surgery patients are back into their normal routines within a couple of days, with those receiving LASIK or ReLEx SMILE surgery generally returning to work the following morning.

What’s more, most Laser Eye Surgery patients will also be able to drive the day after surgery. Figures from our clinic show 98% of our patients are up to the legal driving standard or better on the first day after surgery.

How soon you will be back behind the wheel is dependent on your post-op evaluation. And even though you’ll more than likely be scooting around before you know it, there are certain things to keep in mind that may have an affect on your ability to drive.

Prof. Reinstein answers: When can I drive after Laser Eye Surgery?

A few reassuring words from expert laser eye surgeon, Prof. Dan Reinstein.

Yep, there’s no long period of relying on public transport or your spouse or relatives to cart you around. However, the road ahead isn’t fully clear until word from your surgeon at your 1 day post-treatment appointment.

At all good Laser Eye Surgery clinics, a complete and thorough aftercare consultation will be conducted the day after your treatment to determine whether you are able to once again drive.

The majority of patients receive the “all clear” there and then, however, depending on your individual circumstances and speed of your recovery, it may be recommended you wait a day or two longer until your eyesight becomes fully stable.

Taking care on the road after Laser Eye Surgery

For all Laser Eye Surgery patients, no matter their age or prescription, night time effects are to be expected following treatment.

It’s all part of the eye’s natural healing response to the treatment. Almost immediately after Laser Eye Surgery — when you’re already experiencing its incredible effects — the eye launches into recovery mode, managing swelling in the area and adjusting to its new shape.

This can cause you to temporarily see glare around bright lights known as  ‘halos’ and ‘starbursts’. Many patients go about their recovery after Laser Eye Surgery without noticing anything out of the ordinary, yet it’s important to be aware of glare as it can affect your ability to drive at night.

In the case it does cause you a little difficulty, the first thing to remember is there’s no need to worry — it’s a healthy sign your eyes are recovering and adapting to the treatment. Secondly, it’s advisable to cut down on your night time driving somewhat, sticking to shorter distances if possible and always making sure to keep the lubricated eye drops with you to prevent your eyes from drying out.

Lastly, night time effects of Laser Eye Surgery tend to last a few weeks or a few months at most, but it you experience prolonged effects your clinic should always be on hand through the recovery process to address any of your concerns.

 If you would like to book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, or find out more about the recovery after Laser Eye Surgery, leave us a comment or give us a call us on 020 7224 1005.