Choosing Between LASIK and PRK | Clarity Laser Vision

Choosing Between LASIK and PRK

September 14, 2020

When it comes to the chance to say goodbye to contact lenses and eyeglasses, you may have more options than you realize. You may be familiar with LASIK surgery, a very common laser procedure for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism. While highly popular and common, LASIK is not ideal for treating every person’s compromised eyesight but is not the only option available. The somewhat less common and lesser-known alternative procedure is called PRK.

To make an informed decision about the best procedure to improve your eyesight, it’s essential that you have the most complete and accurate information about both LASIK and PRK procedures.

What do PRK and LASIK do?

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) are both laser-guided eye surgeries performed at an eye clinic near you to treat astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. PRK is an older procedure than LASIK. Both procedures correct impaired vision by changing the shape of your cornea — five layers of tissue that focuses light that enters your eye onto the retina at the rear of your eye. A reshaped cornea ensures that light that enters your eye is bent and shaped precisely and accurately to ensure correct vision.

What is the process of PRK?

During PRK, eye surgeons in Calgary remove the top layer — the epithelium — from your cornea. Then, your surgeon uses lasers to reshape the other layers of your cornea.

You’ll receive numbing drops to eliminate any pain, and a sedative to help you relax while you remain awake during the procedure. Removing the epithelium takes just 30 seconds, following which an excimer laser will make the repairs to the other layers of the cornea in another 30 to 60 seconds. A bandage much like a contact lens will be placed over the cornea to encourage healing.

What is the process of LASIK?

During LASIK eye surgery in Calgary, surgeons do not remove any layer of your cornea, but cut a small flap into your cornea. That flap is lifted, then lasers are used to reshape the cornea beneath. Once that is done, the flap is laid back down over the treated area.

Just like in PRK, you’ll receive numbing drops and a sedative. Your eye surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to cut a small flap in your epithelium, then will reshape the cornea beneath that flap. Once the reshaping is done with an excimer laser, the flap will be allowed to lay back down over the treated area to act as a natural bandage.

Procedure aside, recovery time is the main difference

The recovery period following PRK is longer than that for LASIK — roughly one month. You’ll wear the contact-like bandage for one week, and may experience some irritation and blurred vision while wearing it. Prescription eye drops will help keep your eye moist during healing. Your vision will be better immediately after surgery, then worsen again but improve gradually throughout the healing process. You’ll see your doctor during the healing process, and maybe advised not to drive until fully healed.

The recovery period following PRK is longer than that for LASIK — roughly one month. You’ll wear the contact-like bandage for one week, and may experience some irritation and blurred vision while wearing it. Prescription eye drops will help keep your eye moist during healing. Your vision will be better immediately after surgery, then worsen again but improve gradually throughout the healing process. You’ll see your doctor during the healing process, and maybe advised not to drive until fully healed.

Which procedure is best for you? Aside from the techniques involved in the procedure and the recovery time, the choice between PRK and LASIK is often related to the thickness of your cornea, the curvature of your cornea, and the presence of any corneal scarring. Specialists at an eye clinic in Calgary will, after carefully reviewing your complete medical history and answering all your questions, will guide you through the decision-making process. One way or the other, well-trained specialists will care for and ensure your health while you pursue you achieve your eyesight-related goals.