Not A LASIK Candidate? Look Into PRK

Posted on: 22 February 2022

LASIK is arguably the best-known laser vision correction surgery. However, not everyone is a candidate for LASIK. If your eyes are not the right shape or your corneas are too thin, you may be told you're not a good candidate for LASIK. However, that does not mean you're not a candidate for laser eye surgery more generally. There are other procedures that may work well for you. One of them is known as PRK. Here's what you need to know about PRK as someone who has been told they're not a candidate for LASIK.

What is PRK?

PRK stands for photorefractive keratectomy. It's another laser-based eye surgery that is intended to correct poor vision. Unlike LASIK, PRK does not involve creating a flap in your cornea. Instead, the laser simply abrades off part of your cornea. In doing so, it reshapes the surface of your eye, which leads to improvements in vision. Because the surgery does not create a flap, it works well for patients with thinner corneas, whereas LASIK does not.

What types of visual deficiencies does PRK correct?

You may have been told you were not a candidate for LASIK because you have farsightedness, in addition to or rather than nearsightedness. While LASIK is really only used to correct nearsightedness, PRK can be used to correct either nearsightedness or farsightedness. In other words, if you need to wear glasses in order to read or see your computer screen, PRK can correct for that. If you have to wear glasses to see far away, PRK can correct for that, too.

What is the recovery process like?

This is one way in which PRK is less favorable than LASIK. While patients recover from LASIK with little to no discomfort, PRK does tend to cause some soreness and itchiness for a few days post-surgery. This won't be unbearable, and your eye doctor can give you eye drops that will greatly diminish your discomfort. However, it is important to go into the surgery knowing that you'll need to lay low, take a few days off, and stay away from bright lights while your eyes recover.

If you've been told you're not a candidate for LASIK, do not give up on the possibility of vision correction surgery. For many people, PRK is a better or more effective option. Visit an eye surgery center in your area, and see if you're a candidate for PRK.