Why Can’t I Drive Myself Home After LASIK?
You did your research, found the right LASIK surgeon, and are following the pre-op directives to the letter. It’s almost time for your LASIK surgery and you are so excited!
Your only problem is the inconvenience of having to be driven home by a friend or family member after your procedure. It would be so much easier to just get in the car and drive yourself home, right?
Unfortunately, what might be easy is not necessarily safe. There are a variety of reasons why you shouldn’t drive yourself home after LASIK. Read on to learn more.
Driving and Sedatives Don’t Mix
You’ll likely receive a mild sedative prior to your LASIK surgery. Since sedatives don’t wear off for a few hours and the procedure itself only takes about ten minutes per eye, the math doesn’t add up to any good reason for you to get behind the wheel. Not only will you be drowsy, your reaction time will be affected — this could make you a danger to yourself and others. It’s best to have a friend or family member drive you home so you can relax and get home safely.
The laser will reshape your cornea to correct your myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), but your eyesight will still be blurry immediately following the procedure. In fact, it could be few hours before your vision clears up enough to drive. In some cases, it could be a full 24 hours. Keep in mind that driving restrictions are not exclusive to LASIK — this is standard protocol for hospitals and outpatient facilities after most procedures. When it comes to avoiding driving after LASIK, it just makes sense to play it safe.
As the numbing eye drops begin to wear off, it’s common to experience sensitivity to light for a few hours. This can cause your eyes to be watery, similar to hay fever during allergy season. Light sensitivity can affect your vision all hours of the day, from bright morning sunlight to evening glare from street lamps and headlights.
Wait for the Doctor’s Say-So
You’ll return to see your doctor the day after your procedure for your first postoperative follow-up. Your doctor will check your eyes to confirm you are legally safe to drive without corrective lenses. You may even leave with paperwork to take to your DMV to have the “requires corrective lenses” restriction removed from your driver’s license! Once your doctor confirms you meet the legal requirements for driving, it will be safe for you to get behind the wheel again.
If you have questions or concerns about driving after LASIK, don’t hesitate to contact us. As the premier provider of LASIK in Little Silver, New Jersey, the expert staff at Atlantic Laser is happy to help!