The Alternative to LASIK - Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
PRK Is An Ideal Alternative to LASIK for Certain Lifestlyes or Conditions
As a leader in LASIK, we understand that not all people are ideal candidates for LASIK. Which is why we offer a surface-correction procedure called PRK. Having PRK eye surgery is a great alternative treatment option to LASIK, especially if you have a highly active lifestyle, are active duty military or have certains levels of myopic (nearsightedness), hyperopic (farsightendess) and astigmatic (astigmatism) visual errors.
What is PRK and How Does It Differ from LASIK?
PRK is an advanced laser vision correction treatment that corrects vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It is very similar to LASIK, but the laser procedure is performed on the corneal surface vs. beneath a protective layer of tissue.
How Does the PRK Work?
An excimer laser is used to reshape the surface of the cornea, removing a thin layer to change the cornea’s focusing power in order to correct vision problems.
In the recent years, PRK recovery timeline and the comfort of a procedure has improved dramatically.
Following the procedure, the surgeon will place a contact lens “bandage” over the eye. This “bandage” is then removed when the epithelium (outer layer of your cornea) has healed in a short few days.
A week following your procedure, you may feel some discomfort and your vision may fluctuate. However, in a week you should be able to perform most daily tasks. It is important to note, that it can take up to 6 months to achieve your best corrected vision.
We will be having several follow-up appointments in the following weeks and months after your procedure to check your eyes and the progress of your improved vision.
PRK vs LASIK?
PRK is very similar to LASIK because it cottects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism but it also treats higher order aberrations that affect the quality of vision. Higher order aberrations are associated with glare, halos, double vision, and difficulty seeing at night.
Unlike LASIK, PRK does not require the creation of a corneal flap, therefore, this treatment is preferred for many patients with specific corneal conditions or high-risk lifestyles like, law enforcement, aviation, military or martial arts.
A frequently asked question about PRK is, what is the cost? PRK surgery is actually close to the same price as LASIK. Both procedures are considered elective surgeries by most insurance companies and may not be covered by vision insurance. However, both PRK & LASIK are approved procedures under your Flex Spending Account and Health Savings Account at work. You may also qualify for a savings depending on your Vision Plan at work.
So, what is the best option for you? The best way to answer that question is to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye surgeons. They will be able to help you decide whether the PRK or LASIK procedure is the better option for you. Maryland Vision Institute understands how important this decision is for you and we want to help make this process as easy as possible for you