PRK: Everything You Need To Know

PRK: Everything You Need To Know

March 11th, 2021
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Are you considering your options when it comes to vision correction? Not sure which procedure is right for you?

Keep reading to learn more about a vision correction procedure called PRK!

What Is PRK?

Photorefractive Keratectomy, also referred to as PRK, is a type of refractive procedure. It’s a lot like LASIK.

During PRK, a laser treats refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This occurs when your eye doesn’t refract or bend light properly, affecting your vision.

You’ll have your cornea reshaped, improving how light focuses on your retina and making your vision clearer.

PRK may reduce your need for glasses or contacts. It can’t correct presbyopia, which is also known as age-related farsightedness.

PRK is often great for patients that have been told they don’t qualify for LASIK.

Is PRK The Right Option For You?

  • You may want to consider PRK if any of the following apply:
  • Do you have dry eyes or thin corneas? LASIK is not recommended if you have either of these conditions.
  • Do you have an active lifestyle or job? There is no flap created during PRK, which makes it better for those that are more active.
  • Are you 18 years of age or older?
  • Have you had the same prescription for the last year or more?
  • Are your corneas healthy?

It might not be right for you if you:

  • Have an unstable refractive error
  • Suffer from an autoimmune condition that affects how your body heals
  • You have a history of scarring
  • You have advanced glaucoma
  • You have cataracts
  • You’re a diabetic with diabetes that isn’t controlled
  • You have a history of eye infections
  • You’re pregnant or nursing
  • You are hoping to achieve perfect vision which is not a guarantee

Your ophthalmologist will help determine if PRK is the right option for you. They will test your vision to make sure it hasn’t changed recently.

They’ll also make sure you don’t have any other eye problems that might affect your results.

What To Expect During PRK

First, your eye doctor will examine your eyes. This involves checking the thickness of your corneas and measuring the size of your pupils.

Next, they’ll take exact measurements using a computer-based laser that they’ll use to perform the surgery. The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes.

Before the procedure begins, you’ll receive numbing eye drops. This ensures you won’t feel any pain during PRK. After your eyes are totally numb, you’ll have an eyelid holder placed on your eye to prevent you from blinking.

You will stare at a target light to keep your eyes from moving while your surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea. This process involves removing the outer layers of cells on your cornea to help improve your eyesight.

After removing the outer layer of the cornea, a bandage will be placed over your eye. This will help it heal.

Recovering From PRK

You’ll need a friend or family member to drive you home and stay nearby in case you need anything. Expect your vision to be blurry at first but this will improve as your eyes heal.

You should plan to stay at home for a few days to rest and nap allowing your eyes enough time to properly heal. Plan ahead to use this time to catch up on restful activities and ask family or friends to help out with chores and errands.

If you go outside, remember to wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays.

You may experience some eye pain during the first few days after PRK. Your eye doctor can prescribe a pain reliever on top of the eye drops that you will need to take.

The recovery after PRK takes longer than LASIK, but the results are virtually identical!

Ready to find out if visual freedom could be in your future? Schedule an appointment at The Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL to learn more about PRK now!