Do you dream of visual freedom from glasses and contact lenses? It may seem like this is no longer possible if you’re not a LASIK candidate, but there are other options.
Sure, LASIK is the most popular vision correction procedure available, but it’s not the only one. If you had a LASIK consultation and found out you don’t qualify for LASIK, you may be a good PRK candidate. Keep reading to learn more about having PRK in Allentown!
What is PRK?
PRK is a laser vision correction procedure. Like LASIK, it corrects refractive errors and delivers comparable results. There are a few differences between these procedures, though.
1. PRK Does Not Create a Flap in the Cornea
Unlike LASIK, you won’t find a flap being created to help correct refractive errors during PRK. Instead, the procedure involves removing the epithelium.
The epithelium is the thickest layer of the cornea. Removing it allows Dr. Bausch at Bausch Eye Associates to access the part of the eye to reshape with an excimer laser.
After having PRK, the epithelium regenerates and repairs on its own as you recover from the procedure. Because PRK does not involve creating a flap in the cornea, it’s often a better choice if you have thinner corneas, dry eyes, or are an athlete.
2. PRK Has a Longer Recovery Process
One of the advantages of getting LASIK is its quick recovery process. Although PRK provides comparable results, it takes a little longer to get there.
It can take a few weeks to a month for about 80% of patients to see improved vision. 95% of patients see improvement after three months. Though it does take longer, the results speak for themselves.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRK?
Like any surgical procedure, you have to qualify for PRK. You may be a good candidate for PRK if the following apply to you:
- You’re at least 18 years old
- You have refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
- You’ve had a stable prescription that’s remained unchanged for a minimum of a year
- You’re not currently pregnant or nursing
- You don’t have any eye injuries or current eye infections for at least a year
- You found out you don’t qualify for LASIK due to thinner than normal corneas
- You have realistic expectations about what PRK can achieve
If these are true, there’s a good chance you’re a candidate for PRK. But the only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bausch at Bausch Eye Associates in Allentown, PA!
What Can I Expect When I Have PRK?
Having a vision correction procedure like PRK can be exciting. If you’re nervous, here’s an idea of what to expect when you undergo the procedure.
Before PRK begins, you’ll receive numbing eye drops to ensure you don’t feel any pain. Dr. Bausch may also offer you a sedative to help you relax.
After the numbing eye drops cover the eye’s surface, Dr. Bausch will begin by removing the epithelium, followed by using computer-controlled pulses of light to reshape the cornea. The laser follows precise measurements gathered during your pre-operative exam set to your exact eye.
The laser treatment takes less than two minutes to complete on each eye, depending on the severity of your prescription. After PRK is over, you can go home!
Because you receive numbing eye drops, you cannot drive yourself home after having PRK. Make sure you have a family member or a trusted friend that can take you home.
Recovering After PRK
Once you’ve had PRK, the next step is recovering from it. The best thing you can do on the day of your vision correction procedure is rest.
Resting your eyes after having PRK ensures that your recovery gets off on the right foot, and healing can start as soon as possible. Keep your eyes closed as much as possible on the first day.
As the numbing eye drops start wearing off, you may notice some discomfort. Feeling this way is normal, but make sure that you do not rub or touch your eyes, no matter how much they bother you.
The day after you’ve had PRK, you’ll go back to see Dr. Bausch for your first follow-up appointment. Having this appointment will ensure that your eyes are healing as they should and you don’t have an infection or any complications.
You’ll need other follow-up appointments one week, one month, three months, six months, and a year after having PRK. This is only a standard follow-up appointment schedule, meaning you may need more if necessary.
Attending these appointments is a crucial part of the recovery process, so make sure you can make all of them before agreeing to have PRK.
Enjoy Visual Improvement After PRK
As you recover from PRK, you’ll start noticing your vision improving. Some patients may notice their vision getting better a few hours after the procedure, while others won’t see improvement for a day or two.
Both scenarios are totally typical and depend entirely on the patient. Most patients start seeing the most significant improvement in their vision in the first month after having PRK.
After the first month, you may find that your vision continues improving. Many patients find that their eyesight is sharper, clearer, and more vibrant than it ever could when they wore glasses and contact lenses.
Getting PRK can finally help you achieve visual freedom from visual aids, allowing you to see the world as it was always meant to be seen. Imagine a world where you can wake up and see your alarm clock instantly.
Or, you can be more spontaneous during warmer summertime months. You won’t have to worry about jumping in the pool since you don’t have to think about taking out your contacts or where you’ll put your glasses for safekeeping. Instead, you can get in and see everything around you at the same time!
Freeing yourself from visual aids doesn’t have to be a fantasy. Find out if you’re a good PRK candidate by scheduling an appointment at Bausch Eye Associates in Allentown, PA, today!