Drinking alcohol before and after laser eye surgery

Drinking alcohol before and after laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery can open up a whole world of possibilities to a long term glasses wearer.

For the first time in their lives they’ll be able to enjoy waking up and opening their eyes to a crisp, perfectly focussed world, without having to reach for their glasses. Things that were difficult, or not possible, before will now be easy, such as swimming, adventure sports and more.

Ditch Your glasses
Ditch your glasses with laser eye surgery

If you’ve booked your laser eye surgery and are wondering how to prepare, you might be wondering about whether you can drink alcohol before and after the treatment. Maybe you’ve booked your surgery for the day before or the day after your regular ‘night out’, or are just wondering how careful you need to be.

Whilst there is no strict rule for before and after surgery, there are a few indicators regarding alcohol that you might want to take into consideration.

Before surgery

Drinking on the day of your surgery is not recommended.

Not only might it make you feel sick, but if you need a sedative before the procedure, the alcohol could interfere with this in a major way. However, drinking the day before should not be a problem at all, a glass of wine is OK.

You might want to take it easy though, as turning up for surgery with a massive hangover is not going to make the process much fun at all.

After surgery

Most eye surgeons recommend you leave it 24 hours before having a drink. This is not a hard and fast rule, and some may say you can drink straight away, whilst others might ask you to refrain for up to a week.

In the end, it’s going to be up to you to judge your condition and to decide whether you are ready for a few tipples.

Here are some considerations to make.
eye drops

  • Sedation: If you have had a sedative during surgery, you should definitely wait at least until the next day to ensure all of the drug is out of your system. Drinking too soon could result in a much greater effect from the alcohol than usual, which could end up getting you into trouble.
  • Dehydration: One of the most common complications following surgery is ‘dry eyes’. This is an uncomfortable condition where not enough moisture is being produced to keep the eyes wet, and although easily treatable with eye drops, it is best to avoid it if you can. Drinking alcohol dehydrates the body, and can increase the risk of developing ‘dry eyes’.
  • Lack of attention: You will be given instructions on how to care for your eyes following surgery, one of which will be to avoid rubbing your eyes for a few days. Drinking might lead to a lapse in concentration, where you might find yourself rubbing away at your eyes, and causing damage to the healing area.
  • Bumps: As with the point above, a bump to the eye during this healing stage could be detrimental to your recovery. Alcohol is only going to make you more careless and put you at risk of having an accident.
  • Falls: Laser eye surgery patients often take a few days to get their night vision back the way it was. If you intend to go out in the evening for a drink, be aware that your night vision may not be brilliant straight away, and that this, coupled with the unsteadying effect of alcohol, could lead to a trip or fall.

If you are in any way unsure whether drinking will be safe or not, consider avoiding it until you feel completely well again. Schedule a 20/20 celebration a week to 10 days after surgery and give your eyes the chance to heal in peace.


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