How Long After LASIK Can I Drive? - SightMD Skip to main content

July 19, 2023

By: Alexander Hatsis, MD

How Long After LASIK Can I Drive?

lady driving with sunglasses on after LASIK

Many people who long to say “goodbye” to their eyeglasses have done just that with LASIK surgery. Vision problems, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism may be corrected with LASIK surgery, which can improve eyesight while eliminating the need for eyeglasses. LASIK surgery is an effective procedure, but it can make vision blurry immediately following treatment, making it unsafe to drive right away.

When Can I Drive After LASIK?

It is typically okay 24 hours after your LASIK eye surgery to resume driving. Your first post-operative appointment will be the day following your LASIK. Once your vision has been checked and deemed to be legal driving vision you are good to get back behind the wheel. But remember, just because you are legal to drive does not mean your eyes are done healing. To ensure the ongoing recovery process be sure to follow all post-operative instructions. This normally includes using prescribed eye drops, lubricating drops, and refraining from touching or rubbing your eyes. Wearing sunglasses after LASIK is always recommended.

Can I Drive Myself Home after LASIK Surgery?

No, you will not be able to drive yourself home after LASIK surgery. Although most patients feel well enough to drive, the eyes may feel sore and vision may be temporarily blurry, making it unsafe to drive. Aside from the vision being blurry immediately after surgery, the sedatives used to keep patients comfortable during surgery takes time to wear off, further making it unsafe for patients to drive themselves home after surgery. Accordingly, patients should arrange for a friend or family member to drop them off and pick them up from surgery.

Night Vision Issues After LASIK 

Some people experience challenges with night vision after LASIK. This may include halos, glare, and other difficulties. This is normal and improves with time. However, you’ll want to be careful until you’ve adapted to your LASIK night vision. It may be wise to have a family member, friend, or ride-sharing service do the driving at night until you are no longer experiencing difficulties. Pay attention to your vision at night when you’re a passenger, and you’ll be able to monitor your vision improvement over time.

Do I Need to Update My License After Laser Eye Surgery?

Your driver’s license may be issued with restrictions for corrective lenses – in this case, you will need to make a trip to the DMV and change the vision status on your license. This should be accomplished within 30 days. If you get pulled over and haven’t updated your vision status with the DMV, you may receive a citation. It would be beneficial if you keep documentation in your vehicle that indicates that you had vision correction surgery and what your new vision is.

Are You a Candidate for LASIK Surgery?

Those who undergo LASIK surgery can enjoy the benefits of seeing with clarity without the need or hassle of contact lenses or eyeglasses. To find out if you’re a candidate for LASIK surgery, or to learn more about other treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation at SightMD