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Recent Lasik Medical Journal Articles...

Seawater - Swimming Pools

Important considerations after Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, and P-IOL.

Image of woman swimming in clear water coral reef.  
Swimming pools and natural bodies of water contain many contaminants that are dangerous to eyes healing from refractive surgery.  

Seawater is full of active and inert organisms that would be of no positive value if they were to permeate a cornea compromised by refractive surgery. All refractive surgery techniques including  conventional or wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, and RLE will require protection from such contaminated environments for a period of time. Swimming, skiing, scuba diving, surfing, even sailing can all contaminate the eyes. Swimming pools, although chlorinated, can cause problems with eyes healing from refractive surgery too.

Corneal Surface

PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik disrupt the epithelial layer of the cornea, making it more susceptible to infection. For these types of refractive surgery, staying out of seawater for at least 4 weeks or as otherwise instructed by your doctor would be wise.

Lasik Flap

Conventional or custom wavefront Lasik and Bladeless Lasik have a flap of corneal tissue that is less disruptive to the epithelium, but creates an interface where foreign particles may lodge. The outer edge of the Lasik flap seals within about 2-3 weeks.

Lens Based

Lens based procedures such as RLE and P-IOL require incisions through the cornea into the eye and are significantly more susceptible to problems than the surface ablation techniques of PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik, or the flap techniques of Lasik and Bladeless Lasik. For this reason, seawater exposure should probably be limited for at least 8-12 weeks.

Postoperative Complications

In all cases, any sort of postoperative problem may require significantly more time away from seawater or similar environments. Before putting your eyes in anything that is not sterile, consult your doctor.

Wavefront and Conventional

Wavefront or conventional ablation will make no difference regarding how long one must be out of seawater or chlorinated pools. That means that you need to be out of seawater and pool water just as long if you have wavefront or if you have conventional ablation.

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

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