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

  • Pettinelli 50x50

    Damon Pettinelli, MD

    LasikPlus Vision Center
    102 James Street
    Suite 204
    Edison, NJ 08820
    (866) 724-6033
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    TLC Laser Eye Centers

    437 Fifth Avenue
    Second Floor
    New York, NY 10016
    (866) 326-2010
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  • Pamel 50x50

    Gregory J. Pamel, MD

    Pamel Vision & Laser Group
    115 East 61st Street
    Suite 1B
    New York, NY 10021
    (888) 485-5688
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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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