At Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we can perform PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. This surgical procedure can provide an effective alternative for patients who are ineligible for LASIK. During treatment, we can remove the outermost corneal layer and reshape the cornea to improve vision. The eye surgeons at our West Nyack and Garnerville, NY, locations are Fellows of the American Academy of Ophthalmology with decades of experience performing safe and successful PRK procedures. After PRK, many patients enjoy 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts.
Is PRK Right for You?
PRK is the forerunner of LASIK and is designed to improve refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions are the result of an irregularly shaped cornea, which can cause light to enter the eye incorrectly. During PRK, your surgeon can reshape your cornea to ensure light enters the eye at a proper angle.
The vast majority of PRK patients enjoy at least 20/40 vision which is the legal minimum to drive without glasses. About 70 percent of patients enjoy 20/20 vision or better without corrective lenses.
PRK is an ideal option for patients who do not qualify for LASIK. As LASIK requires your doctor to create a small flap on the cornea, patients with a thin or unusually shaped cornea can benefit from PRK. This procedure may also be more appropriate if you have had previous laser vision correction or if you have a job in which a corneal flap could become dislodged. Your doctor can review your medical history and evaluate your eyes to ensure you are a candidate for treatment, taking into account the thickness and curvature of your cornea in addition to the size of your pupils.
The PRK Surgical Process
Before your procedure, we can administer a sedative and anesthetic eye drops to ensure your comfort. Once you are relaxed, your surgeon can carefully remove the top layers of corneal tissue, or epithelium. We can then use an excimer laser to carefully reshape your cornea. If you suffer from nearsightedness, we can flatten the cornea. If you are farsighted, we can enhance the curvature of your cornea. If you struggle with astigmatism, we can give your cornea a more regular, rounded shape. The entire process takes only a few minutes, and you should feel little or nothing during treatment.
After PRK, your doctor may place special contact lenses or a small shield over your eyes, and you should keep them in place even while you sleep. These devices will protect your eye as the epithelial tissue grows back. Typically, this process takes three to five days. While you may experience blurred vision and mild discomfort during your initial PRK recovery, side effects should subside within a few days to weeks. It may take up to six months for your vision to completely stabilize, though you should be able to drive and return to daily activities within one to three weeks.
The vast majority of patients enjoy at least 20/40 vision after recovering from surgery, which is the legal minimum to drive without glasses. About 70 percent of patients enjoy 20/20 vision or better without corrective lenses. Even if you do need glasses or contacts, you will likely rely on them far less. As a result, PRK can help you achieve confidence in your sight.
Contact Us for More Information
At Rockland Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve optimal eye health and sight. To learn more about PRK and to find out if this solution is right for you, contact us online today or call us at (845) 947-2240.