4 Things to Know Before Having PRK
Most people are familiar with LASIK as a form of laser vision correction, but did you know that there are alternatives? PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is another form of laser surgery that may be more suited to certain patients. If you’re considering laser correction or if your ophthalmologist recommended PRK, here’s what to know about it and what you can expect.
What is PRK?
PRK is a form of laser vision correction that can treat farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK is actually one of the most popular alternatives to LASIK because it’s very similar. In fact, like LASIK, it’s an outpatient procedure that takes less than thirty minutes to complete.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRK?
Patients who are good candidates for PRK are those who have refractive errors like farsightedness or nearsightedness. Refractive errors mean that your eye is shaped irregularly and light does not focus as it should, leading to blurriness. If you’re over 18 and have a refractive error, PRK may be a long-term treatment option.
One of the most important candidacy factors for LASIK is whether your corneas have sufficient thickness. Corneas that are too thin can cause LASIK to be unsuccessful. In this case, many patients who aren’t good candidates for LASIK seek out PRK instead. PRK may also be a better option for patients who have dry eyes.
What Happens During PRK?
The goal of LASIK is to create a flap in the corneal tissue, allowing the tissue underneath the be reshaped using a laser. PRK is performed using extremely precise laser technology similar to LASIK. However, during PRK, the laser removes the epithelium, or the outermost tissue of the cornea. Then, the laser can precisely reshape the tissue underneath to correct for refractive errors. The outer tissues of the cornea will quickly regrow so that your eyes function normally.
What Can I Expect After PRK?
Recovery from PRK is very minimal, similar to LASIK. In fact, you’ll see more clearly within 24 hours and don’t need to put as much restriction on your activity after your procedure. This makes it one of the preferred choices for people who are very active.
The goal of PRK is to allow you to live without glasses or contact lenses. PRK reshapes the natural tissue of the eye so that you have perfect vision without corrective lenses. This means you don’t need to worry about taking care of glasses or remembering to remove contact lenses. PRK can also save you money on new prescriptions and lenses over the years. Finally, many patients enjoy the comfort and freedom that comes with not having to wear glasses or contact lenses in daily life.
Schedule an Appointment
PRK can drastically improve your quality of life and help you see clearly without the hassle of corrective lenses. To meet with our laser vision correction team and learn more about your options, schedule a free refractive surgery evaluation on our website.