Have you recently found out that you don’t qualify for LASIK? You may be a good candidate for another procedure called PRK. Keep reading to find out more about PRK!
What is PRK?
Getting PRK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. PRK has similar outcomes to LASIK as most patients who undergo PRK attain 20/20 vision without contacts or glasses.
How is PRK Different from LASIK?
During PRK, the surgeon removes the thin outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium to expose the corneal tissue underneath. They then use an excimer laser to reshape the cornea and correct your vision. The extracted epithelium regrows naturally after about a week.
With LASIK, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser to create a flap. After creating the flap, they lift it to access the deeper layers of the cornea. Lifting the cornea allows the surgeon to reshape the cornea and correct refractive errors.
Pros of PRK Laser Surgery
Some of the many advantages of PRK include:
Recommended for Patients with High Prescriptions
When you have a higher prescription, your surgeon will need to remove more corneal tissue. If you have thin corneas and require more vision correction, PRK is the better option.
Ideal for Patients with Dry Eyes
The flap created during LASIK can affect the corneal nerves if you have dry eyes, potentially worsening your symptoms. If you have a severe case of dry eyes, your eye doctor may recommend PRK instead.
Suitable for People Who Lead an Active Lifestyle
PRK is an excellent alternative to LASIK if you’re involved in sports, professions, or hobbies that could cause facial trauma. Impact on your eye might dislodge the corneal flap following LASIK leading to complications.
Since there’s no corneal flap in PRK, you can’t dislodge it if eye trauma occurs.
Safer Alternative for Those with Thin Corneas
In LASIK, the surgeon has to create a flap that requires a patient to have thick corneal tissue. If you have a thin cornea, you can be a good candidate for PRK.
What to Expect During PRK
PRK eye surgery takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Here’s what to expect:
- Your surgeon will apply numbing eye drops. You may also receive anti-anxiety medication to help you relax.
- An alcohol solution is applied to your cornea to loosen it and make it easy to remove the epithelial layer.
- After removing the epithelium, the surgeon will reshape your corneal tissue using a laser to correct the refractive error and improve vision.
- Next, they will apply medication to your cornea to minimize the risk of scarring and aid with healing. You’ll also receive prescription drops. The drops contain an antibiotic and a steroid to reduce swelling, prevent infection, and help with recovery.
- Before leaving, the surgeon will place a contact lens bandage on your eye to reduce discomfort and assist with recovery.
- Once the epithelial layer heals in about 5 to 7 days, you’ll have the bandage contact lens removed.
You’ll likely notice clear vision after your PRK procedure. It takes about three months to see the final results.
With PRK, you can choose to have both eyes treated simultaneously. However, you’ll be unable to drive or go to work for at least a week as your eyes heal.
Expert PRK Surgeons
With PRK, you can attain exceptional vision without relying on contacts or glasses. Can’t wait to live a life without the limitation of visual aids? Schedule your appointment at Morganton Eye to find out if you’re a PRK candidate.