Comprehensive Understanding of PRK Laser Eye Surgery

Comprehensive Understanding of PRK Laser Eye Surgery

Nov 01, 2020

Photorefractive keratectomy is a procedure that involves correcting refractive vision errors by enlarging the cornea. Since the cornea is responsible for refracting light to the center of the retina, you can experience eyesight issues if the cornea is misshapen.

The PRK eye surgery alters the contours on the cornea, making it bend light correctly to the center of the retina. Therefore, photorefractive keratectomy therapy is effective for treating myopia (nearsightedness), Hypermetropia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

Who Is Eligible for Photorefractive Keratectomy?

Optometrists perform PRK, LASK, and LASEK treatments with slight differing techniques. All the laser procedures help in improving your eyesight but differ in technique, recovery time, and cost. When choosing a laser eye surgery for you, the dentist will recommend a technique depending on your needs.

PRK removes the epithelium to access the cornea, but it grows back. If your optometrist is using LASIK, they will create a flap on the epithelium and some parts of the cornea. The optometrist then folds the flap for surgery and places it back afterward.

PRK procedure is recommendable for people with thin corneal tissue. If you have dry eyes, PRK would be the best treatment option since a flap method makes the symptoms worse. Also, people at risk of eye injuries can benefit from photorefractive keratectomy therapy since the flap can be damaged during an eye accident.

To be eligible for PRK surgery, you must meet the criteria which consist of:

  • Overall good eye health
  • Stable lens prescriptions

PRK and other laser eye surgeries can’t treat progressive hypermetropia or myopia. Therefore, you should ensure you get stable lenses for your eyes conditions for a successful surgical procedure since myopia and hypermetropia can retrogress after the PRK therapy.

To know if you are an eligible candidate for PRK therapy, you can visit your optometrist in Monterey, CA.

What to Expect During the PRK Vision Correction Procedure

The optometrist will begin by administering topical anesthesia to your eyes. If you are feeling nervous during the procedure, the optometrist can recommend mild sedatives.

Next, your optometrist will place a speculum over your eyes to prevent blinking. Alternatively, the eye surgeon can use a suction ring to keep the eyes still. With the suction ring or speculum, you might feel a little pressure, but the anesthesia will prevent other sensations you might experience.

The optometrist will then remove the corneal epithelium to access the other layers of the cornea. To remove the corneal epithelium, your eye surgeon can use a surgical instrument, buffing device, or an alcohol solution.

After removing the epithelium, the optometrist will ask you to focus on a target light. While focused on the target light, the eye surgeon will use a computer-controlled laser excimer to manipulate the corneas shape precisely. The PRK treatment laser removes layers of microscopic tissues on the corneal to create contours on the cornea, thus sharp vision.

The final step of the treatments involves placing a contact lens on the corneal surface and relax for some minutes before the optometrist. However, the dentist doesn’t clear you to drive. Therefore, you should arrange for a ride home.


After a PRK laser eye surgery in Monterey, CA, the dentist would recommend you take a nap for a few hours. Once the anesthesia wears off, you might experience a stinging and burning sensation or soreness in the eyes.

The removed epithelium grows after a week then your optometrist can remove the bandage contact lens. However, you can experience blurry vision during the first week. Our optometrist at Eye MD Monterey can prescribe eye lubricants to use after PRK therapy.

After a PRK surgery near you, you can arrange for someone to drive you to the follow-up appointments with your optometrist. It is also advisable to take time off from work until you are healed. You can resume work after two to three weeks. However, the healing timeline can go up to three months.

Does the Procedure Have Side Effects?

Complications after a PRK therapy are rare. However, you might experience corneal haze, decreased night vision, and glares or halos.

The complications associated with PRK therapy are treatable through the use of lenses and second enhancement surgery. Therefore, if you experience any complications after the eye surgery, you should contact your optometrist immediately to avoid blindness.

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