3 Reasons To Consider PRK if You’re Not a LASIK Candidate

3 Reasons To Consider PRK if You’re Not a LASIK Candidate

June 24th, 2021

It’s easy to see why LASIK is the go-to option for people who want to improve their vision. It is fast, virtually painless, and incredibly effective.

Its name recognition alone tells you that LASIK is the industry standard for vision correction. But, what you don’t often hear is that one of the reasons it’s so successful is that only perfect candidates can get it.

Any eye procedure has risk. So good surgeons make sure that the patient will have the best possible chance for a good outcome.

If you can’t get LASIK, it’s time to explore LASIK alternatives. Keep reading to learn about three reasons you should consider PRK if you are not a LASIK candidate.

Why Can’t You Get LASIK?

Sometimes factors that exclude you from getting LASIK simply require you to wait until you’re eligible. For example, things like being too young or being pregnant change, and then you could be suitable.

In other cases, you need to work to become a candidate for LASIK, like if you need to control your dry eyes. Other requirements like health may be unfixable.

If you can’t get LASIK, your surgeon may recommend an alternative procedure. However, several LASIK alternatives can be just as effective.

One of the best LASIK substitutes is a procedure called PRK.

How PRK Compares to LASIK

PRK is more similar to LASIK than not. In fact, PRK was the precursor to LASIK. However, there is a critical difference between the two.

Both procedures correct your vision by reshaping your cornea. That way, it can refract the light that passes through your eye directly onto your retina.

Both procedures use similar technology, and both take about the same amount of time. The difference lies in one crucial step. 

During LASIK, your surgeon creates a flap in the top layer of your cornea called the epithelium. This flap gets lifted back so they can remove tissue from the middle layer of your cornea.

Then they replace the flap over the opening, creating a natural bandage that heals itself. PRK does not create a flap.

Instead, the top layer of the cornea gets removed and grows back during recovery. This recovery takes longer than LASIK, and it can be more complicated, but there are some benefits.

What Are the Advantages of PRK?

PRK is one of a few LASIK alternatives that has some clear advantages over LASIK.

Suitable For Patients Who Are Not LASIK Candidates

The most apparent benefit of PRK is that patients who don’t qualify for LASIK can get it. In particular, it is a good option for people with thin corneas.

If your corneas are not thick enough for LASIK, it can be dangerous to get it. However, if you have thin corneas, you can get PRK. 

No Flap Issues During Recovery

PRK alleviates some worries about LASIK complications because most are from the flap. The flap created during LASIK can easily get dislodged as you heal.

Without a flap to dislodge, PRK eliminates the possibility of these complications. But, you will still need to be extremely careful during recovery.

Your eye doctor will give you instructions to follow to ensure a successful recovery. Follow them, and you shouldn’t have any issues.

No Flap Issues During Activity

PRK may be better for people who play contact sports or are very active because there is no flap.

A few pro athletes have elected to get PRK during their offseasons for this very reason. Unfortunately, even after you have healed from LASIK, the flap can get dislodged with severe enough contact.

Consider PRK if you don’t want a massive interruption to your lifestyle as you recover. Albeit with a longer recovery.

Are you looking for a LASIK alternative? Schedule a consultation at Laser Eye Center in Decatur, AL, to find the best vision correction procedure for you!