July marks another Rugby Sevens World Cup! If you’re partial to a game of rugby yourself – or indeed any other contact sport – you might be wondering if laser eye surgery is suitable for you. Discover all you need to know, with our guide to contact sports and laser eye surgery.
If you normally wear contacts or spectacles, playing contact sports raises a dilemma: what to do about vision correction? The rough and tumble of the rugby pitch (or the boxing ring) is no place for glasses, as you most likely have already discovered! Contacts are a better option, but there are some disadvantages:
You may see laser surgery as a necessary choice; something you have to undergo in order to join in the activities you enjoy. But as well as enabling you to get out and play sport, laser vision correction could actually enhance your abilities and make you a better player.
If you play contact sports, your surgeon is likely to advise Lasek surgery (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis). Your specialist will tailor their advice to your own situation and medical history.
Lasek is recommended for professional players of contact sports because it’s considered a safer procedure than Lasik; with Lasek there’s no need to create a corneal flap, so it’s a less invasive operation. Although LASIK is safe in many circumstances depending on the sport and at what level it is played at, LASEK allows the athlete to get back to their sport with a shorter period away from training.
Lasek recovery is usually a matter of days or weeks for everyday activities such as working in an office, driving and non-contact sports. But you can expect to allow up to 3 months’ recovery time before resuming contact sports or extreme sports. However, this will depend on your own individual recovery rate, and the type of activity; your surgeon will advise you.