Do you lead a busy or adventurous life that makes contact lenses and glasses a hassle? For many people, the same recreational activities or lifestyle factors that make them interested in laser vision correction so they can ditch the daily eyewear also make them ineligible for popular procedures like LASIK. That’s where PRK comes in to make lasting vision improvement possible for every lifestyle!

What is PRK Surgery?

PRK, which stands for PhotoRefractive Keratectomy, is a refractive surgery that aims to improve vision. It addresses refractive errors like hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism. These refractive errors result from the shape of the cornea. If the cornea is too curved, myopia occurs, and if it is too flat, hyperopia occurs, while an unevenly curved cornea causes astigmatism.

Like other laser vision correction procedures, PRK reshapes the cornea to correct these issues. This allows light to focus properly on the retina, restoring clear vision.

Learn More

About PRK

The best way to determine if you’re a candidate for PRK is to consult with a refractive eye surgeon like Dr. Jennifer Wu. During a detailed consultation at One EyeCare, she will personally evaluate your eyes, lifestyle, and health history to determine your best treatment option. 

PRK is an alternative option for patients who want laser vision correction but aren’t eligible for LASIK. It has a slightly longer recovery time than LASIK, which is why it’s not as popular, but it results in the same clear vision as LASIK and is better suited for patients who have higher prescriptions or do martial arts. Patients who participate in certain types of contact sports should avoid LASIK since it involves creating a flap in the cornea that can be dislodged by eye trauma. PRK does not involve a corneal flap, making it a better surgical option for these patients.

If you have refractive errors, are over 18, have healthy eyes and stable vision, and do not qualify for LASIK, you may be a good candidate for PRK. For example, patients with thin corneas may need PRK instead of LASIK.

PRK surgery uses a laser to reshape the cornea (clear window in the front of the eye) and correct refractive errors. You’ll be given numbing eye drops and a mild sedative, if necessary, so you won’t feel any pain during the surgery. An eyelid holder will keep your eyes open while Dr. Wu performs the procedure in just 5-10 minutes per eye.

First, Dr. Wu will remove the top skin layer of the cornea (epithelium). Next, a laser pre-programmed with detailed measurements of your eyes will then reshape the cornea. Finally, Dr. Wu will place a clear bandage contact lens on the surface of your eyes to protect them as they heal. The entire PRK procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes for both eyes.

You can go home shortly after your PRK procedure with the help of a friend or family member to drive you. Some discomfort and pain are normal for the first few days while your skin (epithelium) grows back. Dr. Wu will give you detailed aftercare instructions on managing this with pain medication and eye drops. Your eyes may also be watery and sensitive to light during this recovery time. 

Patients should plan to take a week off work after PRK. Many patients have halos, glare, and blurry vision for a couple of weeks. During recovery, you’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise, hot tubs or saunas, and eye makeup, and carefully avoid getting water or dust in your eyes for several weeks. Your vision should significantly improve in a few days, with optimal results in one to three months. Generally, PRK recovery is longer and more uncomfortable than LASIK, but patients find it worth the temporary discomfort to achieve clear vision!

PRK permanently reshapes the cornea for lasting vision improvement. You can expect to enjoy clearer eyesight for years after PRK, and most people achieve 20/20 vision or better and no longer need glasses or contacts. However, the original refractive error may regress after several years, in which case the patient may want to have another procedure.

This procedure does not stop the natural aging process and cannot prevent or correct presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). As the eyes’ natural lenses become less flexible with age, people typically need reading glasses for up-close tasks. That’s why laser vision correction procedures like PRK and LASIK are best for patients under 50. Dr. Wu may recommend intraocular lens implants for patients over 50 years old to correct refractive errors, treat presbyopia, and prevent future cataract development.

Our Advanced Technology for PRK

Dr. Wu believes in using the most advanced technology to give patients the best vision outcomes. For procedures like PRK, she designs a custom ablation profile based on each patient’s unique prescription for greater precision. Her utilization of advanced technology and emphasis on detailed evaluation and measurements allows her to achieve great results for even the most complex cases. 

If you’ve been told you’re ineligible for laser vision correction, we encourage you to consult Dr. Wu. She firmly believes there is a suitable vision correction option for every patient, making it her mission to help you find yours. Dr. Wu frequently performs these procedures for patients other eye surgeons have turned away. She can also help patients attain optimal vision improvement if they are unhappy with the results of a previous surgery conducted elsewhere.

Take the Next Step

Hello, Clear Vision!

Ready to learn more about PRK and how you can achieve clearer vision with Dr. Wu? Fill out the form below or call us at (949) 208-9090 to schedule an eye exam and consultation at One EyeCare. Dr. Jennifer Wu is dedicated to providing you with personalized care and the most advanced treatment options. She proudly serves Orange County in Costa Mesa, CA.