I’m Having Eye Surgery – Can I Get A Temporary Disabled Parking Permit?

Dr Handicap - laser eye surgery
Dr Handicap - laser eye surgery

Do you have eye surgery coming up in the near future? A temporary disabled parking permit could be helpful as you recover. Here’s what you need to know about how exactly it can help, plus the process of obtaining the permit.

Common Types of Eye Surgery

There are several common types of eye surgery. If you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism (about one in three people have this, which causes blurry vision), you might need LASIK surgery, which reshapes the tissue in your cornea so light can come into your eye and reach the retina.

Patients with severe farsightedness or nearsightedness, thin corneas, dry eyes, and other minor problems might have a procedure known as refractive lens exchange. Yet another common procedure is macular degeneration surgery, which is an outpatient procedure resulting in blurry vision directly afterward, but improved vision within a few weeks.

2.1 million Americans aged 50 and older have advanced age-related macular degeneration, and by age 80, one in ten Americans has late AMD. Whatever type of eye surgery you need, you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of eye surgeries are performed each year. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 800,000 refractive surgical procedures were performed in 2010.

Most eye surgeries are outpatient procedures and will have a fairly short recovery time. However, driving might be a challenge for a couple of days. If you have LASIK surgery, for instance, you will probably experience blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and watery eyes for a few hours – which means you cannot drive yourself home. LASIK surgery also sometimes involves a mild sedative, which can cause drowsiness.

After LASIK, you’ll have a post-op exam the next day. Your eye doctor will determine whether your eyesight now meets the legal standard for driving without corrective lenses (20/40 in many states) and, if it does, you can visit the DMV to have the “requires corrective lenses” text on your driver’s license removed.

So why would it help to have a temporary disabled parking permit after eye surgery? When a friend or family member drives you to and from the procedure, it’s nice to have a permit so you can park up close (provided someone else is allowed to use the permit that’s in your name). And as your recovery continues and you get used to driving again, this temporary permit can continue to be helpful.

Dr. Handicap - signing papers

Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay: When will you need to renew your disabled parking permit in 2020?

What Is A Disabled Parking Permit?

A disabled parking permit is a placard that hangs in your car and allows you to park in designated parking spots – places that are typically closer to the building, making it more accessible. These permits are a necessity for many individuals with disabilities, allowing them to function better and live their life more fully. It’s not only wheelchair users who have handicap parking permits; people with other conditions, such as chronic fatigue and various invisible disabilities, benefit from these permits as well.

Each state has different rules for disabled parking permits – where you can park, who can drive the car, etc. If you aren’t familiar with the rules where you live, click here to get a state-by-state breakdown or simply ask your local DMV, where an employee will be happy to explain the rules to you.

Can You Get A Temporary Disabled Parking Permit?

Most people who obtain a parking permit will need it permanently. If you’re recovering from surgery, however, you won’t need it for long. So can you get a placard for temporary disability? Yes – some states offer placards for situations such as having surgery (depending on your state, this permit might be free or could come at a small cost to you). These placards might last up to three months. Some cities, however, will provide very temporary 24-hour or 48-hour parking permits if you need them. You can learn about what your city has to offer by calling your local DMV.

With eye surgery, it’s most likely that your surgery will be scheduled in advance. Since it can sometimes take a few weeks to get all the paperwork processed and to receive the permit you need, it’s best to start the process as soon as possible – ideally, as soon as your surgery is on the calendar. It’s much better to get your disabled parking permit too early rather than too late! If you go ahead and apply as soon as you know you’ll need it, you can have the permit in hand and begin using it the day of your surgery.

Prior to your surgery, make sure to carefully read your state’s regulations about where you can park and whether you have to be the one driving the car. A temporary disabled parking permit can be a big help as you recover from eye surgery and take steps toward better vision.

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