After Your PRK Procedure
When you sit up in the laser suite after the treatment, you will immediately notice an improvement in your vision. You will be able to return home after roughly 20 minutes of sitting with your eyes closed and a final check of your eyes from your surgeon. You’ll leave Dr. Kornmehl’s office wearing the clear bandage contact lens and clear shields covering your eyes, through which you can see. Depending on your surgeon’s preference, may be asked to wear the clear shields while you sleep and shower for 1 week following the procedure.
Do Not Rub Your Eyes
For the first 3-5 days, avoid rubbing your eyes; doing so could dislodge your contact lens bandage. Also, stay away from swimming pools and hot tubs for 1-2 weeks after surgery. The chlorine and other chemicals could irritate your eyes, delay healing, and increase your risk of infection.
Often, patients who have undergone PRK experience 24-48 hours of mild to moderate discomfort until the epithelium regenerates and the surface of they eye regains its smooth contour. Typically, patients report feeling as if they’ve scratched their eye. Others report feeling as if they have a grain of sand in their eye. These side effects are normal and should fade as the healing process continues. Meanwhile, to lessen these sensations, you will be given anti-inflammatory drops. Oral pain medications can also be prescribed.
You will also be given antibiotic eye drops to use for several days to minimize the risk of infection. Do not use any eye drops that your doctor has not approved.
Vision typically worsens during the first few days while the epithelium regenerates. You will not improved vision that fluctuates quite a bit during the first week after surgery but slowly stabilizes after that.
You may notice that your eyes seem especially sensitive to light. Or you could see more glare or even halos around lights at night.
The exact timing of achieving good functional vision after PRK is variable and hinges on many factors, including the degree of your correction and the speed at which your eye heals. Some patients are comfortable and functioning 3 days after the procedure, while others may take 3-4 weeks to be comfortable with their new eyesight.