Contact lenses are annoying: they can irritate your eyes, they’re easy to lose and can be inconvenient. Glasses are simpler, but many people just don’t like the way they look. For patients looking for a vision correction solution, LASIK is often a great option. Using state-of-the-art computer and laser technologies, your doctor can finally fix the vision problems that have plagued you for so long.
Unfortunately, not all patients are good LASIK candidates. Every eye is unique, as is every vision problem. Some people’s eyes simply aren’t suited for the LASIK procedure. Fortunately, for some individuals who want laser vision correction but can’t undergo LASIK, there is another option: PRK. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you’re a candidate for PRK, but a few details might be helpful to your state of mind.
The Two Procedures
LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) have identical goals and are largely used to treat the same vision problems: nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and other related issues. The main difference comes in the procedure.
In a traditional LASIK procedure, your doctor creates a hinged flap in your cornea and then treats the underlying issue with your eyes. By contrast, the PRK procedure does not create that hinged flap. Instead, your doctor removes the entire surface layer of your cornea, then uses an excimer laser to re-shape the underlying tissue. This means that patients with thin corneas, who are not candidates for LASIK, much better candidates for PRK.
Like LASIK, PRK is a commonly performed procedure with an excellent safety record. According to the latest statistics, approximately 95 percent of PRK patients are able to see clearly three months after undergoing the procedure.
However, because the surface layer of your cornea is removed during PRK, recovery from the procedure tends to take longer than the traditional LASIK procedure. You can also expect a little more discomfort. Finally, results from PRK take slightly longer to become fully apparent than they do with LASIK.
Still, PRK remains an excellent LASIK alternative for those who, for whatever reason, simply aren’t a good candidate for LASIK. Your doctor will advise you on which procedure is right for you.
If you're suffering from vision issues in Folsom, Rocklin, Sacramento or any of the surrounding areas and you want to know if LASIK or PRK are right for you, please visit our site here or call 916-507-1709.