When can I swim and exercise after refractive lens exchange surgery?

When can I swim and exercise after refractive lens exchange surgery?

Most patients are back to their normal routine a couple of days after their refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery, however we do ask you to spend a short period of time after your operation in a relaxed environment to allow yourself time to adjust to your new vision and your new eye drop routine.

It’s important to avoid any activities that could lead to you, or something, touching or poking your eyes. Lubricant drops are provided after the procedure so you can prevent your eyes becoming dry and itchy, so it’s important that you use these as often as needed and avoid rubbing your eyes.

We suggest you avoid showering, instead, take a relaxing bath, it’s important that you don’t get soap or tap water in your eyes so bathing would be the safest option. You are still able to read, watch TV, use computers or mobile phones as you wish but make sure you regularly use your lubricating drops to avoid your eyes drying out. Having dry eyes shouldn’t directly affect the outcome of your RLE surgery, however it can cause you discomfort during the healing process and it may also cause temporary visual fluctuations.

We do suggest you have at least 48 hours off work to allow time for the majority of the healing to occur. This means you can resume activities such as showering again after 48 hours, but ensure you are still careful not to get soap/shampoo in your eyes.

Five days post-surgery you can return to doing exercise that doesn’t directly affect your eyes, for example using a treadmill or stationary bike, however swimming is best avoided.

After 2 weeks you can begin to engage in full exercise again. Racquet sports such as tennis, squash and badminton are permitted but it is recommended you wear eye protection for squash in particular. At 2 weeks post op, it’s ok to swim providing you wear goggles whilst in the water as the chlorine may irritate your eyes. Football, motorcycling and sailing are all ok to resume as well as skiing providing you wear goggles.

We recommend you avoid high-impact sports such as boxing or martial arts for at least a month after your RLE surgery.

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