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How long do I have to wait before I can drive after LASIK?

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    Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

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    TLC Laser Eye Centers
    7930 Jones Brance Dr., Suite 250
    McLean, VA 22102
    (866) 326-2010
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    LasikPlus Vision Center

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    8280 Greensboro Drive, Suite 110
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    LasikPlus Vision Center

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    800 King Farm Blvd., Suite 135
    Rockville, MD 20850
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    Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS

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    TLC Laser Eye Centers
    11200 Rockville Pike, Ste. 150
    Rockville, MD 20852
    (866) 326-2010
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Usually, your LASIK surgeon will want to see you again the day after your surgery.

At this visit, they will check your vision to see if your eyesight is within the legal limits for safe driving required in your state or province. (In the U.S., the visual acuity requirement for safe driving in most states is 20/40. Most LASIK patients meet or exceed this requirement the day after their surgery.)

If you currently have a restriction on your driver's license that says you must wear corrective lenses when driving, your LASIK surgeon will sign a document verifying your visual acuity after surgery.

If your vision is within the legal limit, you will be instructed to take this form to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office, where they will issue you a new driver's license without the restriction.

This time line should not vary whether you are treated for nearsightedness or if the LASIK is for farsightedness.

For PRK, LASEK or EPI LASIK, the amount of time required after surgery to drive can vary. Since no flap is created for these procedures, the outer layers of the cornea can become a little hazy for a few days. The surgeon can let you know how long after surgery you should wait before you drive.

Note: This information is for general education purposes only. It is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice from your eye doctor or refractive surgeon.

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