Laser eye surgery has been around for over twenty years now. Most people are familiar with the word “LASIK,” but another great vision solution is PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy. PRK is a kind of laser eye surgery which can work to correct conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Like other laser surgeries, it works by reshaping your cornea (the clear layer in the front of the eye) using a cool ultraviolet beam on the surface (LASIK works underneath). This short guide will explain PRK surgery so you can see if it is a good option for you.
PRK vs LASIK? How are they Different?
There are so many LASIK benefits. It can correct a whole range of vision issues and give people anywhere between 20/40 and 20/20 and in some cases even better vision. That said, not all people are good candidates for LASIK. LASIK works by using part of the cornea to create a flap that helps shape it so that it corrects vision problems.
Because of the nature of the PRK surgery, it is often a good choice for people who may not be able to receive LASIK care. How thick your cornea is will determine which is the best treatment option for you. Simply put, LASIK requires thicker corneas for it to effective because it works by creating a flap. In PRK, there is no flap creation making it a good option for people with thin corneas.
Employment and Lifestyle Choices are Big Factor
Once again, since PRK surgery doesn’t require the creation of a flap it is a good option for people who work in industries where creating this flap may not be a good idea. For many people, LASIK is not an issue, but people who are manufacturing, industrial, or military careers along with people who participate in contact sports and high intensity-activities are good candidates for PRK.
Generally, if you have a higher chance of suffering from eye trauma due to your employment or hobbies, then PRK is likely to be a better treatment for you.
What’s the PRK Surgery Like?
Surgery is definitely a big word to describe PRK and LASIK as well. You really don’t need to do much to prepare for it, and you can be in and out of your doctor’s office in less than an hour. On treatment day, the doctor will use a topical anesthetic to numb your eye.
The surgery takes only about ten minutes for both eyes where the doctor will use the laser to reshape your cornea. PRK surgery recovery doesn’t take too much time. After the surgery, the doctor will apply a contact lens that acts as a bandage that you’ll wear for five to seven days. You’ll have a few quick checkups during the first week, then a few more over the next six months as your vision improves during this time.
The surgery is generally painless, but you will experience some discomfort and dryness during the first few weeks and your doctor will generally prescribe eye drops to alleviate some of these side effects. The main issue is that you’ll not be able to drive for about a week so plan accordingly, but you will be able to return to work by the next day if necessary.
Is PRK the Right Choice for You?
At the end of the day, there are so many benefits to both PRK and LASIK vision correction surgery. These treatments are affordable, simple and the recovery time is overall insignificant considering the lifetime of benefits you’ll receive from them. We have some of the best PRK surgeons (as well as LASIK) available who can walk you through the entire process to help you decide vision correction surgery is right for you. So contact us today and see how we can help you see better and achieve the higher quality of life you’ve been looking for.