Driving requires a minimum standard of vision, so while your eyes are adjusting and recovering in the first 24 hours following the procedure, you should not get behind the wheel. You’ll need to get someone else to drive you home after the procedure, so that you can relax and give your eyes time to heal.
You won’t have to abstain from driving for long, however. Most patients usually get the go-ahead to drive as little as 1-2 days after their laser eye surgery, depending on how quickly their vision stabilises. If you can, it’s good to take some time off work or make other arrangements for your commute for the first few days following surgery, just to give yourself time to recover.
Although travelling by train or bus doesn’t require you to meet strict standards of vision, it’s wise to avoid the crowds on public transport in the hours immediately following surgery. You may be feeling delicate or tired, with watery vision or itchy, dry eyes, so a door-to-door lift home is ideal.
Alternatively, you could consider booking into a hotel near the clinic for the first night, to ensure that you can rest and recover adequately. It’ll also mean you’re close at hand to return for your follow-up check.
As long as you’re not actually a pilot in the cockpit, you can usually expect to be able to get back on a plane within 24 hours of surgery, subject to your surgeon’s approval. Bear in mind that the atmosphere in the cabin can be very dry, and you’ll also be at heightened risk of temporary dry eyes following your procedure – so be prepared and travel armed with eye drops to lubricate your eyes as needed. If you’re jetting off on holiday to enjoy your new-found eyesight, don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun.
Pilots will need to ensure that they comply with Civil Aviation Authority guidelines before returning to work.
After laser eye surgery, many people feel a new sense of freedom, unencumbered by the inconvenience of glasses or contacts. Make the most of it! Wherever you travel, you’ll enjoy the novelty of being able to jump in the driving seat or get on a plane without having to consider your eyesight.
Read more about laser eye surgery and how it could help you.