PRK is a surface treatment option that may be the preferred vision correction for patients with thin corneas or other corneal irregularities. It’s also sometimes recommended for those who live an active lifestyle or have a particularly demanding profession like a policeman or firefighter. The reason is because PRK corrects the visual errors without creating a flap as seen in LASIK, lessening the risk of some complications for certain individuals. The FDA has approved the procedure as safe and effective and is recommended for astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. We have been performing PRK at Lehigh Valley Center for Sight since 1995.
PRK is performed with an excimer laser that uses a cool, ultra violet light beam to precisely remove tiny pieces of tissue from the surface of the cornea in order to reshape it. By reshaping the cornea, light is properly focused into the eye and onto the retina, providing clearer vision than before. Patients also have the option to choose Custom PRK, an advanced technology that allows the surgeon to fully customize the PRK procedure to your eye.
Your eyes will be anesthetized with special drops. Your surgeon will use a computer-guided laser to reshape the surface of your cornea to reach your desired prescription. A target light is also used to make sure your eye remains in the correct position while the laser carefully removes tissue. The entire procedure lasts only a few minutes.
PRK is an effective procedure, with up to 95 percent of treated patients not needing glasses to achieve 20/40 or better. Approximately 75% of patients achieve 20/20 vision. Some patient discomfort is normal immediately after PRK. However, visual recovery for PRK patients has improved significantly over the last few years with medications like Neurontin, Lortab and Restasis. Also, some studies indicate the procedure allows for increased contrast sensitivity, less dry eye, and better custom treatment results verses LASIK. PRK patients can usually return to work in two to four days.