Can I Drive Home After LASIK?
No, you must have someone drive you home after LASIK surgery.
Even though your vision may seem quite clear immediately after LASIK, some blurriness is common for several hours after surgery. And as the numbing eye drops used during your LASIK procedure wear off after surgery, it's common for your eyes to be sensitive to light for a few hours, causing them to "water," which will affect your vision.
Also, you may be given a mild sedative prior to surgery to help you relax, which might make you a little drowsy and affect your reaction time immediately after your LASIK procedure.
The best course of action is to have a friend or family member drive you home, and then you can relax or take a nap.
Clear protective shields will be placed over your eyes for your ride home to keep you from inadvertently rubbing, touching or bumping your eyes in the hours following your surgery.
When you return to the laser center for your first post-op exam the following day, your eye doctor will check your eyesight to make sure you are legal for driving without corrective lenses. Your doctor might give you paperwork at this visit to take to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office so you can have the "requires corrective lenses" restriction removed from your driver's license.
Once your eye doctor confirms that your visual acuity meets the legal requirement for driving (20/40 or better in most states), it is safe for you to drive after LASIK.
About the Author: Vance Thompson, MD, FACS, is the director of refractive surgery at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, S.D. He also is professor of ophthalmology at the Sanford USD School of Medicine, a leading researcher in technologies for laser and implant vision correction and a member of All About Vision's editorial advisory board.
Page updated March 2018