Posted by: Manhattan LASIK Center

While glasses and contact lenses are still extremely popular treatment choices for patients with refractive eye errors, a growing number of people are becoming frustrated with the limitations that these solutions place on their lives. Glasses don’t suit everyone. 

They can be fragile and easily broken, and remembering to take them with you can be annoying at best. Meanwhile, contact lenses can be costly, can feel awkward, or can be difficult to handle. They are unsuitable for every patient. Fortunately, there are alternatives available and one of the most popular is known as PRK surgery.

What Is PRK Surgery?

PRK is a form of laser vision correction surgery. While many people have heard of LASIK, fewer have heard of PRK or photorefractive keratectomy. PRK was the original form of laser vision correction surgery and as such, has a long and very successful history. 

Just like LASIK, PRK can be used to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism that may cause people to experience blurred vision. Just like LASIK, the process involves using laser technology to reshape the cornea so that light is refracted correctly enough for the patient to have little or no reliance on prescription eyewear. However, there is one distinct difference. In LASIK, either a laser or a handheld microkeratome is used to create a tiny flap in the very outer layer of the cornea (the epithelium), which can be lifted so that the underlying tissues can be reshaped. However, in PRK, there is no flap. Instead, the outer layer of the cornea is removed. Don’t worry – the epithelium regenerates itself fairly quickly. However, the main benefit of using this technique is that it eliminates the risk of flap-related complications, which are the most common complications associated with LASIK that can significantly affect the result of the procedure. 

Candidacy For PRK Surgery

Every patient is unique and must be assessed for candidacy for laser vision correction on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, certain factors make someone a particularly good fit for PRK surgery. 

Some of the general candidacy guidelines for PRK surgery include:

  • The patient should be over the age of 18
  • The patient shouldn’t be pregnant and nursing
  • The patient should have had a stable prescription within certain parameters for at least 12 months
  • The patient should be free from eye trauma,
  • The patient should not have a diagnosis of dry eye disease
  • The patient should not have any issues with keratoconus

PRK is known to be especially effective for those patients that have been deemed as unsuitable for LASIK due to abnormalities with the thickness or shape of the cornea. For example, patients with very thin corneas may be refused candidacy for LASIK, where this isn’t a concern when undergoing PRK. PRK also tends to be better for people who play sports and participate in activities where there is a risk of trauma to the eye. 

If you would like to discuss PRK laser vision correction in more detail or to schedule an appointment to discuss your candidacy, please get in touch with Manhattan Lasik Center in Roslyn, NY.