At the Eye Center of North Florida, our team of skilled ophthalmologists and staff specialize in advanced vision correction surgery, including PRK. Our priority is to provide personalized care and achieve the best possible vision outcomes for patients.
What is PRK?
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is a permanent vision correction procedure that can correct natural refractive errors and improve visual freedom. If you have a refractive error such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you likely require visual aids like glasses and contact lenses to perform everyday tasks such as driving, cooking, and reading.
Like other types of laser eye surgery, during PRK, your eye surgeon will alter the shape of your cornea to correct your refractive error. Most patients can significantly reduce their dependence on visual aids after the PRK procedure.
While PRK can provide many people with greater visual freedom, you will first need to qualify as a candidate for the procedure to ensure you will have an optimal visual outcome.
What Happens During and After PRK Surgery?
Before your PRK surgery date, your eye doctor will ask you to arrange a ride to and from your procedure for the day of. During the PRK procedure, your eye surgeon will remove the outer layer of the cornea, reshape the underlying corneal tissue, and then place a protective contact lens over the eye.
The PRK procedure is fairly short, and you can go home the same day. During your recovery, following your eye doctor’s instructions for taking care of the eye is essential, such as using eye drops and avoiding certain activities like swimming or rubbing the eye.
It is also important to attend all follow-up appointments, so your eye doctor can monitor the healing process and ensure that your vision is improving as expected.
What Are the Pros and Cons of PRK Surgery
Like any surgical procedure, PRK has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of PRK surgery:
- PRK can correct a wide range of refractive errors
- PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, unlike LASIK
- PRK is a quick procedure
- PRK is a good option for people with thin corneas or other corneal irregularities
- PRK has a longer recovery time than LASIK
- PRK can cause discomfort and sensitivity to light in the days and weeks after the procedure.
- PRK may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions or with a history of eye injuries or infections.
To determine if PRK may be the best method of permanent vision correction for you, you will need to schedule a PRK evaluation at The Eye Center of North Florida. During this consultation, your eye doctor will also discuss the pros and cons of this procedure so you can make an informed decision about your vision.
How Do I Know if I am a Candidate for PRK?
To determine if you are a candidate for PRK, your eye doctor will consider several factors. The first is age. You must be at least eighteen to qualify for PRK surgery.
Your eye doctor will also evaluate your prescription to determine if you have mild to moderate levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, which are the types of vision problems that PRK can correct. They will also examine the overall health of your eyes to ensure that you do not have any conditions that may disqualify you from undergoing PRK, such as dry eye, glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye diseases.
Your lifestyle and work environment may also play a role in determining if you are a candidate for PRK. For instance, if you engage in contact sports or work in an environment that exposes you to dust or dirt, your eye doctor may recommend alternative vision correction surgery.
Are you interested in learning if you may be a candidate for PRK? Schedule an appointment at Eye Center of North Florida in Panama City, FL, today!