PRK vs. LASIK eye surgery
December 14, 2019
Are you tired of having to wear contact lenses or glasses just to be able to see? This is a dilemma many people face daily. People could benefit from either LASIK or PRK to help improve their vision. But what exactly are the LASIK and PRK procedures?
What’s the difference between LASIK and PRK?
LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) are laser surgery techniques used by eye surgeons to help improve a person’s eyesight. Although both procedures share some similarities, they do differ in key ways.
How are LASIK and PRK similar?
As long as the patient is a good candidate, LASIK and PRK are both deemed to be a safe effective way to correct a person’s vision. LASIK and PRK are quite similar because they both use an excimer laser to correct the patient’s vision.
Another way LASIK and PRK are similar is that both procedures modify the cornea of your eye. They also provide similar end results visually by giving the patient improved vision without the need for contacts or glasses.
Either LASIK or PRK can be used to help resolve eye issues like:
- Astigmatism: Blurry vision caused by an abnormal eye shape
- Nearsightedness (Myopia): The lack of ability to be able to see faraway objects clearly
- Farsightedness (Hyperopia): The lack of ability to be able to see objects up close clearly
How do LASIK and PRK differ?
Although LASIK and PRK have similarities, there are a few major differences you should be aware of. Even though they both alter the cornea of the eye, LASIK and PRK use very different techniques to reshape cornea tissue to correct vision.
During a LASIK procedure, either lasers or a tiny blade is used to produce a small flap in your cornea. The flap is then raised by your surgeon who will then use lasers to reshape your cornea. When the procedure is done, the flap is lowered and over the next few months, the cornea repairs itself.
A PRK procedure differs from LASIK because your eye surgeon will remove the top layer of the cornea, which is known as the epithelium. Lasers are then used to reshape the cornea as well as fix any irregular curvature located in your eye.
Pros and Cons
LASIK procedures provide considerably faster visual recovery times compared to PRK. Plus, with LASIK, there is little to no discomfort during the time your cornea heals. It only takes about a week in total for the epithelium to heal, so you can get back to your regular life in no time. If you are wanting to recover sooner because you have a busy lifestyle, then LASIK would be the more popular choice.
From a medical perspective, PRK is the better option in some cases to improve a patient’s vision compared to LASIK. Patients tend to have less dry eye after PRK surgery as opposed to LASIK patients because the PRK procedure doesn’t involve a flap. Also, a PRK procedure favors patients who have less corneal tissue thickness making PRK beneficial for patients with naturally thinner corneas.
The pros to both of these surgeries is the lifestyle change the comes with having corrected vision. You no longer need to worry about paying for contacts or new lenses all the time. Plus, you can go about your day freely without worrying about if your contacts will dry out or if your glasses are dirty. You won’t have to think about being able to see.