Laser eye surgery has become one of the most popular outpatient surveys in many parts of the world. However, only some are good candidates for well-known types of laser eye surgery, like LASIK. Fortunately, people who cannot have LASIK may still be able to have PRK. This form of laser vision correction has a longer recovery time but provides equally excellent results.
What is PRK Laser Eye Surgery?
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a laser eye surgery to correct vision issues. Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from being properly focused on the retina, resulting in blurry vision. PRK works by reshaping the cornea, the outer layer of the eye, using an excimer laser. This reshaping corrects the angle of incoming light for improved clarity and focus.
How Does PRK Work?
During PRK, Dr. Senekal removes the cornea’s outer layers or epithelium. This step allows access for the Zeiss MEL90 Excimer laser to reshape the rest of the cornea by removing microscopically thin layers. The removed outer layers will regenerate completely within a few weeks. The procedure takes about 15 minutes per eye.
PRK Xtra may be recommended for those with a thin cornea. It uses corneal cross-linking (CXL) technology to reinforce the bonds between collagen fibers in the cornea.
How Long Does PRK Surgery Last?
How long PRK results last depends on many factors. Age-related changes affect everyone’s eyes over time, even if you have laser eye surgery. For example, almost everyone over the age of 40 will develop presbyopia. In this condition, the lens becomes stiffer and cannot focus on nearby objects like a book or label.
If you have PRK surgery at a younger age, your results may last longer than someone who has it when they are closer to 40. However, your vision can continue to change at any age. PRK results should be considered long-lasting but not permanent.
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What is Recovery Like After PRK?
The recovery period for PRK surgery is typically longer than other laser eye surgeries, such as LASIK. You may experience haziness, dryness, and sensitivity to light for several days to weeks following the procedure. Follow Dr. Senekal’s post-operative instructions, including how often to use your eye drops. Your vision will improve steadily over the next few weeks, although full results may take up to three months.
Am I a Candidate for PRK?
PRK may be a good option for people who are not suitable candidates for LASIK. This includes those with thin or irregularly shaped corneas. Additionally, PRK may be a better option if you engage in contact sports or activities that increase the risk of eye injury, as no flap is created during the procedure, reducing the risk of flap-related complications. To determine if you are a suitable candidate for PRK, we recommend scheduling a consultation with the Visionmax team.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about PRK eye surgery, please schedule your consultation by either filling out the form on this page or by calling (780) 452-4111. We look forward to helping you!