Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct the refractive errors that cause myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
The treatment reshapes the outer layer of your eye, the cornea so that it can refract light properly. But, this treatment is unlike wearing corrective contact lenses. PRK laser surgery takes out the cornea’s outer layer so that another one can grow in its place.
You should get PRK surgery if you have thinned out corneas or dry eyes along with refractive errors. If your job or lifestyle is active, PRK may be a better choice for you than other treatments like LASIK. PRK is superior because it does not involve sculpting the top layer of your cornea as with LASIK surgery.
Persons who have had lenses implanted in their eyes during cataract surgery also need PRK to hone their vision.
The above conditions suggest that you should get PRK. But, even then, you must meet the following qualifying criteria:
Have a stable prescription, with no changes in at least one year
Eighteen years old and above. The ideal age is 21 years old because then, your vision has stopped changing
You have a refractive error that PRK can correct
Your corneas must be healthy as with also your general eye health
Your expectations about the procedure are realistic. You must understand what you can or cannot achieve with PRK surgery
Still, some conditions may keep you from getting PRK. They include uncontrolled diabetes, advanced glaucoma, an unstable refractive error, and cornea abrasions. If you have a history of scarring or a cataract, the procedure may not be suitable for you. Pregnant and nursing women may not take up the procedure either. Lastly, if you have a condition in your eye or skin that can affect healing, you must treat it first before proceeding to PRK.
Recovery from PRK surgery is quite fast:
The doctor advises you to take a long nap for the first few hours after the procedure. As you rest, the numbing may wear off, and if you wake up, you may experience some soreness. You may also have a feeling of a “foreign body” in your eye, some stinging and some light burning. Taking a long nap after the surgery helps to evade the discomfort. You may also take some over-the-counter pain relievers to resolve any lingering discomfort.
In only the first week, the chopped-out epithelium will have grown back. But, your vision remains blurry for the first two weeks, and your eyes are extra sensitive to light. The doctor places you on some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops. You may also have lubricating eye drops for the first few months after the surgery because your eyes become prone to drying.
It takes 3-6 months for your eyes to heal completely, although you can resume your everyday tasks in about two weeks. You can read, drive, and carry out other chores comfortably. In the meantime, attend all your follow-up appointments religiously so that the doctor can monitor your progress.
For PRK laser surgery to correct any refractive errors, contact Laser Vision Delaware in Wilmington, DE at (302) 656-2020 to request an appointment.