Following laser eye surgery people want to know when they can return to the same activities they were doing prior to their treatment and swimming is one that people often ask about. Lasek and Lasik are both types of laser eye surgery and it is extremely important that following both procedures you allow your eyes to heal without poking or rubbing them in anyway.
Although swimming itself is not a contact sport, the chlorine in the water tends to make your eyes sting/itch which means you are more likely to rub them. It is this rubbing of the eyes rather than the actual chlorine that is the main concern with swimming. This is especially the case if you have had Lasik eye surgery, as during this procedure a flap is created. This flap needs to be allowed to heal fully without it being moved or dislodged which can occur with rubbing or itching of the eyes.
There is also an increased risk of infection immediately following your laser eye surgery which is another reason not to swim. You are more likely to pick up an eye infection swimming in a public pool.
It is generally advised that swimming should be avoided for at least 2 weeks following Laser eye surgery. Most surgeons will probably suggest that when you do start swimming, you should wear goggles for up to 6 weeks post surgery. You may be able to swim sooner after Lasek as there is no flap created but this should be checked with your surgeon. As with all advice your surgeon’s word is final and you should always check with them when it is safe to carry out certain activities. Everyone’s eyes heal at different rates and this may affect how soon you can begin such activities. Your surgeon is best placed to know how well your eyes are healing.