Recently, some of our patients have asked, “What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?” It’s a great question, and one you should also be asking if you’re considering corrective eye surgery. While both PRK and LASIK eye surgeries correct your vision by reshaping the cornea, the procedures differ in recovery time, methods used, and patient eligibility.
We’ve spent some time covering the benefits of LASIK in previous posts, so today we’re we’re going to talk about the difference between LASIK and PRK, and why PRK might be an alternative option to LASIK.
PRK vs. LASIK: Eligibility
Houston LASIK receives a lot of attention on billboards and TV segments, but it may not be the best choice for your eyes. Depending on your specific circumstances, photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, may be a better solution for the correction of your vision. PRK is an eye surgery that also treats conditions such as an astigmatism and corrects common vision problems such as farsightedness and nearsightedness. If you are not eligible for LASIK, PRK may be your surgical solution for better vision. PRK is more suitable for candidates who:
- Have a history of dry eyes
- Have thin corneas
- Are previous LASIK surgery patients
PRK vs. LASIK: Surgery and Effectiveness
Both PRK and LASIK surgery reshape the inner layers of the cornea. To access the inner layers of the cornea, the LASIK surgeon must make a small incision in the outer cornea. During PRK surgery, however, surgeons remove only a very small area of the outer cornea layer.
With PRK surgery, there is no risk of flap complications and much less risk of removing too much of the cornea; this difference allows Houston PRK patients to live with less concern about monitoring the flap incision after surgery, as no flap exists. Recent studies have also shown that patients who have undergone PRK are less likely to achieve refractive error (blurred vision while reading up close) and less likely to undergo overcorrection than LASIK patients.
PRK vs. LASIK: Recovery Times
The one major downside to PRK eye surgery is that most PRK recipients usually experience a longer recovery than LASIK recipients. During initial PRK recovery, new and necessary epithelial cells are growing and covering the surface of the eye, resulting in a more gradual recovery time (up to several weeks at times). LASIK recipients, meanwhile typically report a faster recovery time and less discomfort.
PRK vs. LASIK: Which Laser Eye Surgery is Right for You?
Now that you know the answer to, “What is the difference between PRK and LASIK?” it’s time to visit your eye doctor and discuss whether PRK or LASIK is right for you. To find out if you are eligible for PRK, your eye doctor will need to perform an eye exam to determine if your corneal tissue has the correct curvature and thickness to perform the surgery. Other considerations your doctor will take into account are the moistness of your eyes and the size of your pupils. These, in addition to a general medical test, will be crucial in determining your candidacy for PRK.
Discover Which Laser Eye Surgery is Right For You at Eye Center of Texas
Ready for a life without glasses or contacts? Visit the experts at Eye Center of Texas for a consultation to discuss PRK in Houston, LASIK in Pasadena, and any other treatment options that may be right for you. Get all the answers you need to questions such as, “How long does PRK last?” and more.
With experienced doctors and six convenient locations, Eye Center of Texas has everything you need to achieve better vision in safety and comfort. Don’t spend another day wishing for better vision—contact us today to schedule a consultation.