When playing contact sports, wearing glasses or contact lenses can be an inconvenience. While it is possible to manage vision problems, sometimes it’s simply impossible to keep glasses or contacts on during vigorous gameplay.

Through LASIK eye surgery, a special laser can alter the shape of the cornea, however, athletes can eliminate the need for glasses or contacts altogether. How can athletes in particular benefit from the procedure, though?

Risk for Athletes Who Play Full Contact Sports

Athletes often think of LASIK as a hopeful procedure to eliminate their need for corrective eyewear while playing sports. When planning to go through LASIK, it helps to know that the procedure is not ideal for all types of athletes. Athletes who engage in full-contact sports, such as football, hockey, or boxing, for instance, may be at a higher risk of complications or infections, especially when the corneal flap which is operated on has not fully healed. Impact from sporting equipment such as hockey sticks or footballs can pose a greater risk. If the eye is hit soon after surgery before the patient fully recovers, there is a risk of the corneal flap re-opening or becoming damaged and infected.

The Importance of Taking Recovery Time Seriously

While players sweat and get their faces dirty while out in the field, it may irritate the eyes and lead a person to rub them as they play sports. Moreover, athletes may have to rapidly move their eyes as they focus on the action of the game. These factors could injure the eye, especially for patients recently recovering from LASIK surgery. Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre emphasises the importance of recovery time of at least two to three months following a LASIK procedure.

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NBA Players Credit LASIK for Improved Shooting Skills

In the NBA, basketball stars, including Richard Hamilton, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Paul have credited LASIK for their improved performance on the court. Paul, a nine-time All-Star player has improved drastically as an outside shooter since LASIK treatment — in fact, he landed the position of the third-best three-point shooter, based on 2015-2016 final stats.

Sharper vision can be one of the biggest assets of a professional athlete. Achieving better eyesight without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses can, after all, can heighten a player’s overall performance during a game.