Can You Do Combat Sports After LASIK?

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Sometimes you can get a punch or an elbow in the eye even if you do jiu jitsu. Eyes after LASIK are a bit delicate.

So, can you do combat sports after LASIK? You can do combat sports six months after LASIK surgery. But, there is a risk of developing a flap. A flap may require another surgery. It is recommended however to not get LASIK or LASEK surgery if you are involved in sports where you can get hit in the face.

Now, some people have debated LASEK as a better option to LASIK for combat sports. So, below I’ll discuss that as well as what the recovery timeline is for LASIK for the different combat sports, and how safe it is. 

What are the risks of doing combat sports after LASIK?

There is a small risk of developing a flap. This is because to do the procedure surgeons attach a flap. If you get struck in the eye it may cause the flap to become detached. If it becomes detached it may need surgery. LASIK or LASEK surgery are not recommended for people who do martial arts. Or contact sports where you can get hit in the face. This is because a hit to the eye can undo the surgery and it will have to be redone.

There has been anecdotal evidence from doctors who have performed LASIK on MMA fighters. There have been no reported problems for many years. In forums of people who have had LASIK for many years and trained combat sports with no problem. But, it is still a risk.

How soon after LASIK can you start training combat sports?

The recovery time before one can do combat sports is six months according to Very Well Health. You could do drills such as punching a heavy bag, and warm up exercises. A good idea is to use protective goggles.

LASIK OR LASEK are not recommended for people who do:

  • Boxing
  • BJJ
  • MMA
  • Contact sports where one can get hit in the face.

Is LASIK safe for Mixed Martial Arts Fighters (can you get punched after LASIK)?

Many MMA fighters have got LASIK and have been fine for many years. LASIK and LASEK are not recommended for MMA fights though. This has been done by one of the largest non-profit Health Providers Mayo Clinic. They do USD$14,000,000 (14 million) in revenue per year. They have recommended against it. You are best to talk to a healthcare professional regarding options which are better suited to you.

Can you do MMA after LASIK?

There are stories from eye surgeons who have performed LASIK surgery on MMA fighters and they have not reported any issues for many years. It can be a particular issue for MMA fighters because the better their vision is the better they perform. 

This is because they are better able to see incoming strikes. The Mayo Clinic, a large non-profit with doctors and health professionals has recommended that people who do MMA should not do LASIK. There are online health care providers. You should talk to them or your local eye specialist in this regard.

Can you Box after LASIK?

LASIK is particularly not suited for people who do boxing. This is because the risk of many strikes directly to the eye are almost guaranteed. Many people have done boxing after getting LASIK and Lasek without any problems. This is anecdotal evidence and no information was given regarding frequency of training, number of strikes to the face, etc. New technologies are always coming out, so it is best to talk with your local eye specialist. There are also specialists available to chat online.

Can you do BJJ after LASIK?

In BJJ one does not often get striked in the face. It can happen though. Elbows or punches to the eye can cause the surgery to become undone. This can be fixed with surgery. The surgery relatively cheap, at approximately USD$1500.00 so it is up to you if you want to risk it. BJJ falls outside of the requirements set out by Mayo Clinic. 

It is safe to do BJJ after LASIK, but there is a long recovery time. The recovery time is six months. During this time you could do solo drills. You could also lightly train with sparring partners. So long as they are aware of the injury and you roll light. You should just watch out for positions where you could take a strike to the eye.

Common ones would be taking the back where you might get accidentally elbowed when he is attempting to escape. The most dangerous would be in scrambles and when you are submitted. Just take care and tap early.

What could be the benefits of getting LASIK if you practice/train combat sports?

Increased vision will improve your ability to evade strikes. It will also allow you to anticipate take downs. When you can see the finer details of a person’s movement rather than the more blurred outline you can see muscle twitches and subtle details like whether they are on the balls of their feet. This will improve your ability to react. This will improve your ability to perform in competition. In the case of wrestling and grappling arts just as BJJ and Judo, alot is done by feel. So it will only increase your ability to see moves coming but once you are grappling it won’t help you as much.

Can you play sports after LASIK?

You can definitely play sports after LASIK. This is because if you can do MMA after LASIK then any other sport will be fine. This is because other sports are not as physical as MMA. Some sports you can return to after only a few days. This is because there is low risk of injuring your eye. Examples of sports you can do after LASIK:

  • Running
  • Pingpong
  • Badminton
  • Squash (as long as you wear goggles)
  • Pool
  • Snooker
  • Bowling
  • Etc.

As Long as there is little to no risk of injuring your eye you can do your sport very soon after doing LASIK. Other sports will require you to take six month off to heal. There is a minor risk of flap detachment if you get struck in the eye. But it is minimal. Mayo Clinic is a very reputable Healthcare Provider that has not recommended LASIK for combat sports. So if your sport is a kin to a combat sport then you should think about it. It is best to talk with an eye specialist regarding your matter.

How long after laser eye surgery can you exercise?

According to All About Vision you can exercise within a few days of getting laser eye surgery. You should consult with your doctor in this regard, as each surgery is unique. When you exercise you should be careful not to get water or sweat in your eyes. You should avoid getting water in your eyes for the first two to three weeks. 


So, you can do combat sports after getting LASIK, however it is not recommended. It takes six months after surgery before you can do combat sports. You can however do solo drills at this time. In the case of boxing, kickboxing, and striking you should avoid sparring for six months. You should be able to come up with some good ways to train without risking injuring your eyes. With grappling arts such as BJJ, wrestling, and Judo you can get LASIK without reservations. Again, you should always consult with your doctor and eye specialist regarding this matter.