June 25, 2019

LASIK as an Equestrian: Part II

I made it!  As of yesterday I'm one month out from LASIK and have been cleared for all activities.

I'm at 20/20 combined, 20/10 left eye and 20/25 right eye.  The right eye has slowly improved from 20/40 on the first day post surgery and should be just fine, but if it isn't, they'll decide at my 3 month checkup in August what to do. 

I have minor halos around lights at night, and have driven both at night and in the rain with no issues.  I haven't had any issues with dry eye even as I've backed way off (read: totally forgotten about) using the rewetting drops.

Eyes that can see!

In the end, LASIK didn't cramp my style too hard, partially because it's been a crazy month for work travel.  These are the restrictions I stuck by:

  • No riding for one week
  • Wearing a Halo Sweatband for both riding and CrossFit (redirects sweat away from the eyes in addition to absorbing it. These things are actually awesome and I'm going to keep using them)
  • Wearing motorcycle goggles to the barn during the first week
  • Wearing sunglasses anytime I'm outside
  • No CrossFit for two weeks
  • No going upside down in CrossFit (handstand pushups, pike drags) for four weeks
  • No swimming for four weeks
  • No rubbing my eyes for four weeks
  • No flipping my head upside down to style my hair in the shower for two weeks
  • No eye makeup for 10 days (hey, I almost made it two weeks)
  • Eye mask while sleeping for the first week
  • No sticking my head in the water while showering for three weeks
Wearing the larger of the two Halo Sweatbands I bought for a snatch complex at CrossFit.  I also have a slimmer one designed for under helmets that I ride in.

If I had a young or high strung horse, I might have waited longer to ride.  It's bad news to have eye trauma in the first 2-4 weeks after healing, so getting tossed could cause major complications.  At two weeks, you're healed to the point that touching the eye lightly over the lid is okay, but trauma would still be a problem.  At four weeks, you're good to go.  So don't plan on backing any youngsters for a month after LASIK!

My only dicey horse situation came when I was filling Connor's haybag for the ride home from the bit fitting clinic a week after LASIK.  I wasn't wearing sunglasses (dumb) and a gust of wind blew hay debris into my face and some got in my eyes when I still wasn't cleared to rub my eyes.  I flushed them with a ton of eye drops and it was fine, but in retrospect that wasn't smart.  If you're responsible for barn chores, I would recommend wearing the motorcycle goggles as long as you can.

That concludes my LASIK adventures.  I'm contact and glasses free!


  1. OK- so I also had LASIK done, but they gave me almost none of those precautions. I do experience dry eyes still, but otherwise it's been pretty freaking amazing not to have to worry about contacts or glasses on the regular. Apparently my LASIK doctor just wasn't as concerned?? Hmmm

    1. Interesting! Most of those rules were from my Dr, a few were self imposed. When did you have yours done? It's changed a lot over the what's from what I've been told.

  2. So wait you can't stick your head in the water but you wash your hair and face how? I'm sorry my mind is just not wrapping around this point.

    1. Basically it's jusy dont stick your face straight into the shower stream. You don't wash your face for a few days. Hair is okay, but as long as you like lean back into the spray. Honestly this year I've discovered my face is so much clearer the less I wash it, so I did micellar water instead of washing my face for a while and was happy with that.

  3. I have several friends who had Lasik and none of them talked about all the aftercare.. they all just talk about how much they love it!

    1. It's pretty easy to be that way, you feel normal so quickly and not needing contacts or glasses anymore is awesome. But I wanted to document this part thoroughly for just that reason too.