Ensuring a Smooth Recovery Following PRK
PRK Recovery - Hudson Valley, NY
A number of patients suffer from vision impairment that requires prescription lenses to provide clear, focused eyesight. While prescription lenses can improve vision and accommodate a patient’s changing prescription needs, most individuals eventually grow tired of relying on these lenses. And, once an eye prescription has steadied, there is no reason that patients shouldn’t seek more long-lasting treatment. Laser vision correction offers safe, effective, and long-term vision improvement. PRK sculpts the tissues of the cornea in order to eliminate the source of visual imperfections such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. This procedure is an alternative for those patients who are poor candidates for LASIK. While the results of treatment are similar, recovery for PRK is slightly longer. The doctors at Palisades Laser Eye Center discuss PRK recovery so that our Hudson Valley, NY patients know what to expect following treatment.
How Long Is PRK Recovery?
The main difference between LASIK and PRK is that PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, the top layer of corneal tissue (called the epithelium) is completely removed. This is a great alternative for patients who have unusually thin corneas (which makes LASIK an unsuitable treatment option). However, the downside of this technique is that recovery from PRK is slightly longer than that of LASIK. Still, recovery is completely manageable, and the majority of patients find the results of PRK to be well worth the recovery. During the first few days following PRK treatment, patients will wear a protective contact lens to allow the eye time to heal properly. This lens is typically removed within a week of surgery, and at this point, most patients already see a marked improvement in vision and are ready to return to their routine schedules. Although the initial PRK recovery only takes a week or two, it can take up to six months for the eyes to heal completely and for the full results of surgery to take effect.
PRK Side Effects
When it comes to side effects, LASIK and PRK are similar. While the eyes heal, it is normal for patients to experience some discomfort, as well as an itching or burning sensation. Other common side effects of PRK include the following:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred, hazy vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Halos or starbursts around night lighting
These symptoms will dissipate on their own and are often short-lived. Most side effects of PRK are gone within the first week or two of recovery, but halos and starbursts may last for several weeks or months.
Caring for the Eyes following PRK
As long as the eyes are cared for properly, recovery from PRK should be smooth and uncomplicated. It is important to carefully follow all post-operative care instructions. Patients should avoid rubbing or itching the eyes and should avoid dry or dusty environments. Lubricating eye drops should be used frequently and prescribed eye drops should be used as directed. All of these practices will help to protect the eyes while they heal, in order to ensure optimal results of treatment.
If you have been told that you are a poor candidate for LASIK, PRK may be a great option for you. PRK offers effective results for patients who are looking to reduce or eliminate their reliance on prescription lenses. To learn more about this laser vison treatment, contact us at your earliest convenience to meet with one of our experienced doctors at Palisades Laser Eye Center.