Eliminating your dependence on corrective eyewear such as prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses is an unmatched feeling of freedom. After PRK or LASIK, you can start your day with a clear picture and enjoy activities that used to aggravate your contacts or make your glasses slip off. Both refractive surgeries can give you excellent vision, but sometimes PRK is the better option for health and safety reasons.
Dr. Kornmehl at Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates in Boston can determine which of these revolutionary laser eye surgeries can give you the best results and free you from your glasses or contacts.
What’s the Difference Between PRK and LASIK?
Laser eye surgery with PRK or LASIK reshapes your cornea to correct your vision. Refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism cause an abnormal curvature of your eye. The lasers used for PRK and LASIK correct the contour of your cornea (the transparent tissue at the front of your eye), so your eye can refract light correctly onto the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye (retina) for crisp eyesight. However, PRK and LASIK differ in their approach.
LASIK creates a flap in your cornea, then the laser reshapes the cornea, and the flap is folded back over. The LASIK technique allows for a faster recovery because the flap re-attaches to the surface quickly.
PRK removes the epithelial layer completely, providing total access to the cornea for the laser to do its job. A bandage contact lens is placed over the cornea for about a week while your eye regenerates the epithelium. PRK requires a longer recovery than LASIK but can help a broader range of patients who don’t qualify for LASIK due to an increased risk of flap complications.
Research shows that about 95 percent of PRK patients achieve 20/20 vision and no longer require corrective eyewear, and 100 percent reach 20/40 or better with no visual aids.
PRK Is Best for Thin Corneas
If you have thin corneas, you are likely not a good candidate for LASIK. Dr. Kornmehl requires adequate tissue to create the flap for safe, reliable, effective results. Operating on a cornea that is too thin results in a misshapen cornea. PRK often is better for people with chronic dry eyes because it provides more nerve density regeneration than LASIK, which disrupts the nerves.
High Refractive Errors for PRK and LASIK
Severe nearsightedness or farsightedness means your cornea is significantly misshapen. Extensive reshaping is required to fix these vision problems. PRK is typically the better option for these cases because removing the outer corneal layer gives our eye surgeon access to more of the stromal tissue underneath. There’s less risk of compromised corneal thickness with PRK.
Athletes and Active Work
Athletes, such as boxers and wrestlers, and people whose profession keeps them on their toes, such as construction workers, are often better candidates for PRK. These people’s careers and activities increase the risk of flap complications such as dislodging the corneal flap.
Schedule Your Laser Eye Surgery Consultation
Dr. Kornmehl can help you determine which refractive surgery is right for your eyes and lifestyle. Schedule your PRK or LASIK consultation at our Boston office today.