Improve Your Vision with PRK Eye Surgery
Vision impairment interferes with basic daily functions. Prescription glasses and contact lenses allow people to see clearly, but corrective lenses require a lot of care and upkeep, and many people grow tired of these temporary solutions.
Laser vision correction addresses the source of refractive errors to improve the vision for good. The most common form of laser vision correction is LASIK. Unfortunately, not everyone is an ideal LASIK candidate. At GW Eye Associates, we offer PRK eye surgery to reshape the cornea and restore the vision for those of our La Jolla, Carmel Valley, and San Diego, CA, patients who have been deemed poor LASIK candidates and are interested in PRK eye surgery.
What Is PRK Eye Surgery?
PRK eye surgery is a laser vision correction technique that is similar to LASIK. During a PRK procedure, a highly precise femtosecond laser is used to reshape the cornea. The laser eliminates imperfections that are responsible for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The primary difference between LASIK and PRK is that LASIK surgery requires the creation of a corneal flap and PRK does not. During a LASIK procedure a crescent-like incision is created on the top of the cornea to create a flap. The flap is lifted up so that alterations can be made to underlying corneal tissues.
During PRK, no flap is created. Instead, the entire top layer of the cornea (the epithelium) is removed. This grants access to underlying corneal tissues so that appropriate alterations can be made. After the cornea has been reshaped, a bandage contact lens is placed to protect the eye while it recovers from surgery.
It typically takes three to five days for the epithelium to heal following PRK eye surgery. As a precaution, the bandage contact lens is usually worn for five to seven days. This protects the eye from irritants that could scratch the eye and interfere with the recovery process. While the eye heals patients are likely to experience mild to moderate side effects, which may include:
- Blurry vision
- General discomfort
- Redness in the eye
- Dry, itchy eyes
- Sensitivity to light
As the epithelium heals after PRK eye surgery, the vision will begin to improve. Most PRK patients notice that the vision becomes clearer around four to five days after treatment. However, it takes longer for the vision to completely stabilize. Many people achieve maximum vision results within around a month after surgery, but it can take up to six months for full treatment results. Like LASIK, PRK provides the majority of patients with 20/20 vision or better.
PRK eye surgery is primarily offered as an alternative to LASIK surgery. PRK may be appropriate for individuals who are poor LASIK candidates due to extremely thin corneas. People with thin corneas should be considered candidates for PRK surgery provided they are:
- 18 years of age or older
- In good overall health (individuals should be free of autoimmune disorders)
- Have good ocular health (dry eyes, eye trauma, and other eye disease could compromise treatment results)
- Have a vision prescription that has remained steady for at least one year
If you have been denied LASIK treatment, you should consider whether PRK may be a better solution. To learn more about this laser vision correction technique, contact GW Eye Associates online, or call (858) 454-4699 to schedule an appointment.