What Do I Need to Know Before Having PRK?

LASIK is not your only option for permanent vision correction. Photorefractive keratectomy, also known as PRK, is another type of laser eye surgery that can give you extraordinary results. 

Not everyone qualifies for LASIK. Not qualifying for LASIK can be due to a variety of reasons like having thin corneas, dry eyes, or an active lifestyle. 

With PRK, many are still able to achieve their visual goals. Keep reading to find out some facts you should know before having PRK!

What Is PRK?

PRK is a laser eye surgery that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Safe and highly effective, it is one of the most popular alternatives to LASIK. 

Both procedures take less than thirty minutes to complete and are outpatient, meaning you can return home the same day.

What Happens During LASIK and PRK?

The cornea is a part of your eye that helps to focus light so you can see clearly. When you have a refractive error, your eye is irregularly shaped, causing blurry vision. 

During LASIK, eye surgeons create a small flap in the cornea to access the tissue beneath that needs to be reshaped. After the LASIK surgeon reshapes the appropriate tissue, the flap is replaced and positioned to heal.

The most significant difference between LASIK and PRK is that a flap is not created during PRK. With PRK, instead of creating a flap, the surgeon removes the epithelium, the outer layer of your cornea. 

They then reshape the exposed tissue beneath, and the epithelium regenerates naturally with time. Because it takes time for the epithelium to grow back, the recovery period for PRK can be a little longer than it is for LASIK.

However, you can look forward to clearer vision within a day, and it will continue to get even better over the course of the next several weeks. 

Who Is a Good Candidate for PRK? 

To qualify for PRK, you should be at least eighteen years old, have a stable prescription, and have healthy corneas. You should also not be pregnant or nursing. 

PRK is an ideal option for those with thinner corneas. When your corneas are too thin, you will likely not be a good candidate for LASIK.

This is because there is not enough tissue to create the flap needed with LASIK. If you have dry eyes, you may have a better experience with PRK as well. 

The creation of a flap in the cornea with LASIK may potentially aggravate any symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Due to this, many surgeons recommend PRK instead of LASIK for those with dry eyes. 

When you have a very active lifestyle, such as being an athlete and participating in sporting events often, it is possible to dislodge the flap as it is healing from LASIK. For this reason, PRK can also be a preferred option for those who perform a lot of physical activities. 

What Are the Advantages of PRK?

Just as with LASIK, PRK can be the difference between a life with glasses and a life without. When you permanently correct your refractive error, you can significantly reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts.

Without visual aids, daily life becomes more convenient, and clear vision becomes effortless. You don’t have to waste time in the morning cleaning and inserting your contacts or looking for your glasses. 

Not only can PRK save you time, but it can also save you money. Many people do not realize how affordable a one-time vision correction procedure is. 

In fact, PRK is more affordable than a lifetime of spending money on glasses or contacts and everything that goes with them. PRK is an excellent decision for your eyes and your wallet.

Do you want to learn more about how PRK can provide you with visual freedom? Schedule an appointment at EnVue Eye & Laser Center in Oxon Hill, MD, today to find out if you are a good candidate for PRK.

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