Like any other procedure, following your doctor’s directions for a smooth and safe recovery from refractive lens exchange surgery, or RLE, is extremely important. There will be certain things you will need to do specifically and certain things you will need to avoid in order to ensure a safe and full recovery from your procedure.
If you’re an active person, you may be wondering how long it will be before you can resume your workouts. Keep reading to learn more about RLE, including if you can exercise after refractive lens exchange surgery!
What Is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?
Refractive lens exchange surgery involves removing the natural lens that rests behind your pupil and iris, the colored part of your eye. Once removed, the natural lens is replaced with a synthetic artificial lens called an IOL or intraocular lens.
Refractive lens exchange is performed to improve vision and help correct refractive errors. The procedure is short and relatively simple, taking only fifteen minutes per eye to complete.
First, your eye doctor will use a topical numbing eye drop that will allow you to feel more comfortable during the procedure. Once your eyes are numb, your eye doctor will make an small incision in the cornea, which will allow them access to your lens.
Next, your eye doctor will use a special instrument to break the natural lens into small pieces. The pieces are carefully removed, making way for the artificial lens.
After that, your eye doctor will place the new IOL directly into the same space. After the procedure, you will rest briefly in the clinic before being sent home.
In most cases, you will not need any stitches as the tiny incision on the cornea will heal naturally on its own.
How Does Refractive Lens Surgery Affect My Exercise Routine?
Even though you do not need stitches after refractive lens surgery, you must still be careful. The incisions close quickly, but it takes a while before they fully heal.
In the meantime, they can be prone to tearing open, especially at the beginning of your recovery. Even a small amount of extra pressure can cause problems.
For the first couple weeks after surgery, you must avoid any rigorous activity. You should not be doing any heavy lifting or even bending over at the waist.
You should not rub or press your eyes at any point. Take this time to relax.
Make sure you are cleared by your eye doctor before returning to your workout routine.
What Else Should I Know About Recovering From Refractive Lens Surgery?
Exercise is not the only thing you will need to avoid while recovering from refractive lens exchange. You need to be careful not to get any dirt, makeup, lotions, or even water in your eye.
Do not go swimming or use a hot tub for at least two weeks after the procedure. You can still shower but use shampoo carefully and keep your face out of the water as much as possible.
Even drinkable water might carry bacteria that can cause an infection. As you recover, you will be scheduled to check in with your eye doctor so they can monitor your progress.
Are you interested in learning more about refractive lens exchange or determining if you may be a candidate for the procedure? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, today!