How Soon Can I Go Running After Lasik Eye Surgery?

I'm an avid runner, and I'm supposed to have my Lasik procedure in about a week. I'm wondering how soon after the procedure I'll be able to be running again. Is it possible that the impact from running might affect my recovery or the healing? Or is there no risk involved?

Doctor Answers 12

How Soon Can I Run After LASIK

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You can resume running after LASIK within three to seven days if you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from external elements such as sun and wind.  It is also important to not rub your eyes. Perspiration may cause your eyes to burn so consider running with a sweatband and/or hat.

San Diego Ophthalmologist

Running After Lasik

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Running or any other physical activities may result sweating. From that point of view we don't recommend running first two days after the surgery. You can go running 2 days after LASIK as long as you are careful- do not rub your eyes and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. To be safe start with moderate running.

William Ellis, MD, FACS
San Francisco Ophthalmologist

Running after LASIK

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Engaging in a moderate amount of running is okay 2 days after the LASIK procedure. Make sure to use sunglasses and avoid any hand contact to your eyes. Use a head cap or band to prevent sweat from getting into your eyes. The impact from running does not affect the LASIK procedure or the eye in relation to LASIK.

Arturo Chayet, MD
Mexico Ophthalmologist

Running and Exercise After LASIK

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It is important to remember that while LASIK is associated with a rapid visual recovery it is still a surgical procedure that requires the healing of tissues. It takes about 6 months for the LASIK flap to reintegrate into the cornea strongly enough that it is difficult to lift or dislodge. However everyday after the procedure the flap adhesion strengthens.

We recommend our patients sleep with a shield for the first week after surgery and wear protective eyewear (sun or clear) to avoid rubbing the eyes. A month after surgery the flap is extremely unlikely to be dislodged. A week out after the procedure it I believe it is safe enough to jog if protective eyewear is in place.

Arthur Benjamin, MD
West Hollywood Ophthalmologist

Running After LASIK

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Most people can go running a week after LASIK. Your surgeon will see you one week post-op and at that time he should be able to tell you for certain, but be careful even one week after surgery. It is best to approach exercise with caution for at least a month after surgery.

Michael K. Tracy, MD
San Diego Ophthalmologist

Exercise after LASIK

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Reasonable running and exercise is not a problem the next day after LASIK.  I usually tell patients to make sure to keep their eyes lubricated with frequent artificial tears and protected from the wind.  Also if you are running or working out in a gym, avoid fans as they can exacerbate dryness.   Dryness is something that can negatively impact your recovery process.  I do have my patients refrain from swimming for a week after LASIK

Paul C. Kang, MD
Washington DC Ophthalmologist

Running is allowed the day after LASIK

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Running is allowed the day after surgery. Speedy recovery is one of the great things about LASIK.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Running post LASIK

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On average many LASIK surgeons would likely recommend waiting about 7 days before resuming strenuous activity and exercise after uneventful LASIK surgery. Since running, unlike team sports like football, basketball and soccer, is lower risk for direct ocular trauma, it can often be resumed sooner but protective eyewear should be used. That being said, there is always risk with any physical activity of developing a flap complication, inflammation or infection. Since every surgery is unique and everyone heals differently I would defer to your surgeon for guidance on resuming running and other physical activity.

Christopher Starr, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Avid Running Post-LASIK

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For avid runners, waiting a week Post-LASIK would be recommended to ensure that the body has had ample time to recover from the procedures.  Although most people return to their daily routines the day after their procedure, routines that are physically vigorous ought to be on hiatus for a week until your Dr. gives you the green light that everything has properly healed.  The biggest fear is injury to the eye during rigorous activity.  It can be as mindless as rubbing your eye if a particle flew in there while running or an object striking the eyes during the run. 

Once your doctor gives you the okay to run again, be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes during the day.  Regardless of if you have had LASIK or not, sunglasses are always a good idea to protect your eyes from harmful sun rays.

Robert T. Lin, MD
City Of Industry Ophthalmologist

Exercise after LASIK

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My patients are able to run the next day...  The few restrictions I give are:  no swimming, hot tube or steam baths for a few weeks and nor rubbing of the eyes for 4-6 months.  That's it!

Cary M. Silverman, MD
West Orange Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.