PRK Results: Clearer Vision, Reduced Need for Corrective Eyewear, and More
For many patients, 20/20 vision can be achieved with PRK (photo refractive keratectomy), eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses. Many others significantly reduce their need for corrective eyewear, often needing glasses only for tasks such as reading or driving. At TLC Yonge Elington Laser Eye Centre, we regularly perform PRK to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. PRK results are similar to LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). Surgeons at our Toronto, ON, eye center will fully explain what you can expect to achieve with PRK so you can make an informed decision about undergoing treatment. If you would like to achieve clearer vision and achieve greater independence from corrective eyewear, contact us today.
How PRK Refines the Cornea
In order to understand the results PRK can provide, it is important to first understand PRK surgery. PRK, like LASIK, corrects vision by using an excimer laser to refine the cornea, the dome-shaped front surface of the eye. This improves focus by changing the way the cornea refracts light entering the eye. During LASIK, the surgeon accesses the stroma, or inner layer of the cornea, by creating a flap in epithelium, or outer layer. During PRK, the epithelium is gently removed to provide access to the stroma.
We may recommend PRK if you have had prior eye surgery, or if you have thin or irregularly shaped corneas, large pupils, dry eyes, or severe refractive errors. If have a job that carries a higher risk of eye injury, such as military or law enforcement, or if you lead an especially active lifestyle, we may recommend PRK because it carries no risk of flap disruption. During a consultation, your surgeon will determine if PRK is right for you.
With PRK, there is no risk of complications relating to a corneal flap. However, PRK can carry a slightly higher risk of infection. You can minimize this risk and other potential complications by carefully following your surgeon's post-operative instructions.
Immediately following your PRK surgery, a special contact lens will be placed on each eye. The contact lens will facilitate healing and also help reduce pain. It typically takes about five days for the epithelium to regenerate. We may prescribe anesthetic drops or steroids for pain control. We will carefully review your personalized post-operative instructions following surgery.
PRK recovery takes longer than LASIK recovery. Eye discomfort and fluctuations in vision can occur for the first one to four days after surgery, and can be longer for some patients. You will need to use prescription eye drops for four to eight weeks after PRK surgery. Generally, patients can drive one to three weeks after PRK, but may not experience completely clear, stable vision for three to six months.
Side effects of PRK can include permanent mild glare, and seeing halos around objects. It is important to understand that the results of PRK can be long-lasting, but not permanent. As always, vision will gradually change over time, and touch-up treatments or increased use of corrective eyewear may become necessary to maintain clear vision.
Schedule your Assessment Today
The experienced surgeons at TLC Yonge Elington Laser Eye Centre have been performing laser vision correction for decades. Schedule your appointment today and find out how you can achieve freedom from prescription lenses.