What is PRK?
PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) is a type of laser vision correction surgery that can help some patients with thin corneas achieve 20/20 vision – giving similar results to LASIK. So even if you are not a good candidate for LASIK, you may be a good candidate for PRK in Colorado Springs.
Difference Between LASIK and PRK
Both LASIK and PRK procedures involve an excimer laser to reshape the cornea to correct a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) which allows light to focus on the retina for clear vision. At Skyline LASIK, we use the WaveLight® EX500 laser for corneal reshaping.
The difference between LASIK and PRK is found in the first step of these procedures:
- During LASIK, a protective hinged corneal flap is created to allow access to the underlying corneal tissue. After the cornea is reshaped, the flap repositioned back in place, where it begins to heal immediately.
- During the PRK procedure, the thin layer of corneal tissue (the epithelium) is removed. After the cornea is reshaped, the epithelium grows back underneath a protective bandage lens that is placed over the eye at the conclusion of the procedure. The cornea typically takes five days to heal, and the bandage lens remains in place during this time. There is no risk of corneal flap complication with PRK.
Each laser treatment is completely customized to your unique eye so you can achieve your best vision possible.
Common Questions About PRK
Does PRK hurt?
At the start of your PRK procedure, your doctor will apply numbing eye drops. While every person has their own unique threshold for discomfort, most patients report minimal to no discomfort during the procedure. The PRK recovery process will bring you temporary discomfort as the surface of the cornea heals. This discomfort may include pain, throbbing, burning, and a foreign body sensation. This can be managed by medications given to you on the day of your procedure.
How long will I need to be off work?
Because your eyes will need time to heal, you may want to plan on taking three to five days off from work to recover from PRK. Your best vision results could take longer to achieve, but most patients are able to return to their normal activities after one week. It is important to keep your follow up visits so your doctor can monitor your progress.
Will I need glasses or further treatment after PRK?
Most patients having PRK obtain excellent vision and require no additional treatment or the need for glasses or contacts. However, a very small number of patients may require an enhancement to fully correct their prescription. In the future, other vision conditions can develop that may require glasses. Most people over the age of 40 develop a condition called presbyopia, which is the aging of the eye’s natural lens, requiring the need for reading glasses to see up close.
When can I wear makeup after PRK?
Please wait at least five days before wearing makeup. We recommend that you purchase new eye makeup to avoid infection.
Dreaming of a Life with Clear Vision? Take Action!
Schedule a free consultation at Skyline LASIK today. Our doctors will assess your eye health by performing multiple diagnostic tests and a thorough eye examination. Find out if LASIK or PRK would be a safe and potentially life-changing procedure for you.