Lasik Q & A

Are Athletes Good Candidates for LASIK?

Several of the professional athletes have publicly used LASIK surgery to correct visual impairment problems that put them at risk of losing their jobs. Let’s face it, when a player is on the field playing contact sports, or related games it does not pay to wear contact lenses or eye glasses. Someone could throw the ball at the wrong angle and hit the player in the eye. If the player is wearing eyewear, the glass could break and put out his or her eyes. On the other hand, if the player is wearing contact lenses and they fall out during game play, the player could miss the final play that helps the team win the game. In addition, when dirt and sweat gets under contact lenses, it causes irritation to the eyes. It becomes a hassle. For this reason, many athletes seek qualified LASIK surgeons to correct and improve their vision problems. LASIK can make the game more fun, since there is no more struggling with contact lenses or eyeglasses.

LASIK offers athletes many benefits, yet LASIK also has risks and setbacks. Not every athlete qualifies for LASIK surgery. Some athletes are recommended to seek other alternatives to correct their vision problems because they are higher risk candidates for LASIK surgery. How so, the risks maybe noted in their game that they play.

Which athletes are at a higher risk?

Many surgeons warn that LASIK is recommended for patients who do not play in vigorous sports. The risk involved in playing contact sports is already high. The players are at risk of getting hit in the face in most sports.

Athletes who have LASIK surgery and play hardcore games are at a higher risk, since if they resume playing after surgery it could cause injury or damage to the eye. The injuries could lead to infection. How so? It is simple. LASIK is a procedure whereas the corneal flap is cut open during the surgical procedure. The cornea is then flapped back so that the doctor can reshape the cornea. Of course, the area of the eye will be sensitive after surgery. If a player resumes playing the game after surgery and a ball hits this area of the eye, not only will the player feel pain, but he or she is at risk of reopening the area of the cornea, which means a follow up procedure is necessary to correct the damage.

While the laws of probability dictate that there is always a slight risk, certain activities increase your risk. In this case the risks are obvious. Athletes are at risk of injury from the start, and after LASIK they are at more risk because of the danger involved from playing the sports.

Who is at the highest risk?

Athletes who participate in traditional sports like baseball, basketball, and soccer are low risk candidates. There is a chance that a ball will stray and hit the player during game play, or another player’s hand may make contact with their face, but for the most part the risk is minimal.

Athletes who participate in aggressive contact sports like wrestling and football are at higher risk of injury, as there is frequent body contact that puts their face in jeopardy. The athletes with the highest risk however are those who participate in combat sports like martial arts or boxing, where blows to the face are common.

How can athletes reduce their risks?

Your doctor will assess your risks and counsel you accordingly before you go to surgery. If you are approved for surgery, you will need to follow close instructions giving to your by your doctor. You will need to avoid sports during the initial two-week recovery phase. Patients who are higher risks should wait until the off-season before having the surgery. High risk candidates should also seek other alternatives to LASIK.

What Is an Athlete’s Alternative to LASIK?

In the past, athletes with imperfect vision had to wear special contact lenses designed for active lifestyles. They may have had to wear special eyeglass or sunglasses designed for sports, or go without any corrective eyewear at all. Athletes who play in dangerous sports may consider it worth the risk, but many injuries occur from the inability to properly see, while other risks of injury are the result of an impact breaking the athlete’s glasses during the game. However technology has advanced, which gives athletes better alternatives.

What risks do Athletes face?

The biggest risk athletes face after LASIK surgery is the risk of injury, which can cause an infection of the eye. Athletes sweat and get dirt around their face while playing sports and when this occurs, the patient experiences irritation, which could cause an infection from rubbing or it could cause damage to the cornea.

REM or rapid eye movement is common, i.e. the players’ in the game has to constantly be on the lookout during the game. This action can cause irritation and unnecessarily stress to your eyes. If the patient has injury or infection starting in the eye, REM and pressure around the eyes after surgery could exacerbate, or cause an existing problem to become worse. If the patient is preparing for LASIK surgery, the actions could lead to problems and prevent the patient from getting the optimum results from their LASIK procedure.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses put the athlete at risk because of the impact of the game, which could cause damage if the player is hit in the face and his or her glasses break or the contact lenses fall out. It is important that athletes who are considering LASIK surgery to approach the procedure responsibly.

What Are the Benefits of LASIK in Athletes?

Many athletes find that LASIK can improve their vision. LASIK allows them to move more comfortably and freely without worrying if someone will knock their glasses off during the game. Players can benefit from LASIK because they do not have to worry about sweat or dirt getting under their contact lenses, which cause irritation.

Finally, serious athletes may struggle with sitting out of the game during recovery, but LASIK results may be worth the while as you will be back in the game, playing better than ever.

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