Learn How PRK, LASIK’s Alternative, Might Be Better For You

LASIK is one of the best-known eye surgeries in the United States – and for good reason! This laser surgery corrects your vision permanently so that potentially you could no longer need to wear glasses or contacts. However, many people may be unaware that there are alternatives to LASIK that serve the same purpose. Depending on your circumstances, PRK might actually be a better surgical option for you than LASIK.

The Difference Between PRK and LASIK

Both PRK and LASIK are effective laser surgical procedures used to correct your vision. Each procedure uses similar tools and takes a similar amount of time to complete. But the surgical methods are very different.

LASIK surgery involves the creation of a flap on the cornea, one part of your eye that focuses light on your retina to provide a clear image of the world around you. Creating a flap allows the ophthalmologists at Boston Vision to reshape the cornea. Once the surgery is done, the flap is repositioned carefully by your ophthalmologist and will heal over the coming weeks. The seam around where the flap was opened won’t be visible to you or others, but it also won’t disappear entirely.

PRK surgery doesn’t use a flap. Instead, the surgeon fully removes the outer part of the cornea, rather than opening it with a flap, to shape the lower section of it. During the recovery process, this layer slowly grows back.

Beyond the specifics of each procedure, you may not care about which you undergo, since they both have the same results upon recovery. In this case, neither surgery is better than the other. But each has advantages and disadvantages that patients should take into account.

When PRK Is Better

PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is often better for individuals whose eyesight needs a significant amount of correction. When your eyesight is significantly near- or farsighted, it means that your cornea is misshapen. Depending on your unique surgical plan, your surgeon might not be able to keep your cornea intact in order to make the necessary adjustments.

PRK is also a good idea for those who live very active lifestyles. If you have a high risk of injuring your eye, or you participate in competitive sports, the LASIK flap can become damaged and alter your vision. Since PRK doesn’t create a permanent flap, it may be better for long-term care.

Considerations with PRK

There are some considerations to keep in mind with PRK that aren’t as big a concern with LASIK. These include:

  • The recovery time is longer, and you’ll need possibly up to a week to recover.
  • Unlike LASIK, you can expect some mild discomfort as you heal.

The benefits might outweigh the cons if you find yourself increasingly frustrated with having to rely on corrective lenses, though.

Laser Vision Correction With PRK in Boston, MA

If you’re a little confused about the difference between these similar, yet technically different procedures, you’re not alone. The fact is that laser vision correction is a highly personalized process, and only a highly experienced ophthalmologist will be able to tell you which method of permanent correction is right for you, based on your eye anatomy, medical history, and lifestyle. For answers to all your laser eye surgery needs, contact the team at Boston Vision by calling us or contacting us online today for a free consultation for LASIK and/or  PRK.

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