What do DC Summers and LASIK have in Common?
As the saying goes…”It’s not the heat, its the humidity”. If you have lived in the DC metro area for at least one summer I will bet that saying rings true. If you are gearing up for your first June, July, and August in Our Nation’s Capitol, you better just set your A/C at 62 now and start hoarding cold air. There is nothing like a hot, sticky, humid, June afternoon that will ease your apprehension about being seen in a bathing suit, and get you to the pool, ocean, or lake as fast as possible. Unfortunately, if you have less than 20/20 vision you might have to consider your contact lenses while you’re planning your refreshing plunge. In fact, you may have had to find out “the hard way” about how difficult it can be to enjoy those water activities while also worrying about seeing clearly! It becomes impossible to just enjoy the water, when you are attempting to keep track of your glasses, or even worse, soliciting help from a stranger to search for your missing contact in the deep end. If either of those scenarios sound familiar, it might be time to re-think your contact commitment and consider LASIK…until then…think cool thoughts.
Here are a few common questions to get you thinking:
Can I Swim With Contacts In?
Contact lenses really should not be worn for swimming, bath tubs, in hot tubs, or in any other kind of water activity, as it can pose a serious safety risk. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water, due to potential sight-threatening eye complications. Acanthamoeba and some other forms of bacteria present in water can become attached to the surface of contact lenses. This can predispose contact lens wearers to undue risk and result resulting in serious infection.
Will LASIK Prevent Me From Participating In Water Activities?
Generally, most doctors advise their patients not to swim in a pool for the first week after the procedure and to wait at least two weeks to go in the river, ocean or lake. This is because your eyes will be very vulnerable to infection following surgery. Plus, on top of the bacteria which can still be found in chlorinated water, chlorine causes dry eye.
Activities such as swimming, waterslides, snorkeling, sailing, water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking and surfing can begin after two weeks WITH eye protection. You may resume swimming, water-slides, scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing after one month without eye protection.
What If I Play Water Sports?
For someone who is an active member of sports and contact water activities, LASIK is almost always the best way to go, as it provides far less risk of losing the clarity of your vision. The biggest concern that people have about playing water sports following their LASIK surgery is the chance of dislodging the flap. While this is extremely rare, it could occur in cases where extreme force contacted the eye, particularly during the first few weeks following LASIK.