Laser eye surgery has become a hugely popular procedure as more and more people seek clearer vision. However, not everyone makes a good candidate for common options like LASIK. PRK is a form of eye surgery that corrects your vision using a laser. It works for many people who cannot have LASIK but still want to reduce their need for glasses or contact lenses.
What is PRK Eye Surgery?
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a procedure to treat refractive errors. Types of refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK differs from LASIK because LASIK disrupts the cornea’s surface, making it unsuitable for people with thin or weak corneas. Like other types of laser eye surgery, PRK provides powerful vision correction.
How Does PRK Eye Surgery Work?
LASIK and PRK work in the same basic way. Both use an excimer laser to alter the shape of your cornea. The cornea is a clear structure that light passes through as it enters the eye. Refractive errors occur when light does not focus on the back of the eye, so reshaping it can correct the angle of light.
The primary difference between PRK and procedures like LASIK is how they access the cornea. LASIK creates a flap in the cornea’s outer layers, which is replaced after the procedure. PRK works by removing the outer layer completely. This layer will completely regenerate over a few weeks.
What is PRK Xtra?
PRK is often recommended for people with thin or misshapen corneas looking for vision correction. If you have issues with your cornea, your eye surgeon may recommend PRK Xtra. This treatment uses vitamin B12 and UV light to create cross-links that strengthen the cornea. It can prevent the progress of some corneal conditions and improve the results of PRK.
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What is Recovery Like After PRK?
After PRK, your eye surgeon will apply a soft contact lens bandage that protects your eyes for four to five days. You may notice blurriness, sensitivity to light, and irritation during this time. Vision will improve within the first few days but will continue to stabilize for several weeks. Using your eye drops as directed is extremely important in healing from PRK and achieving good vision.
Am I a Good Candidate for PRK?
Good candidates for PRK may not be good candidates for procedures like LASIK. If you have been told you are not eligible for other laser eye surgery, PRK may be a good option. You might choose to have PRK if:
- You have thin or misshapen corneas
- You engage in contact sports that could dislodge a LASIK flap
- You have dry eye symptoms, which LASIK can worsen
- Your refractive error is in the range that PRK can treat
Take the Next Step
To learn more about PRK, please schedule your consultation by either filling out the form on this page or by calling (866) 458-1545. We look forward to helping you!