There are countless people throughout the world that suffer from vision impairment. Whether affected by nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, these people are unable to enjoy clear, crisp vision without the use of prescription lenses. However, laser vision surgery offers the ability to change that. The two most common forms of laser vision surgery, LASIK and PRK, make changes to the shape of the cornea in order to eliminate the abnormalities that result in vision impairment. While the long-term results of LASIK and PRK are similar, the procedures do differ. Dr. William E. Holcomb offers both procedures so that he is able to meet the unique needs of each of his patients. He explains the differences when it comes to PRK vs. LASIK so that his Cullman, AL patients understand which treatment option is right for them.
LASIK is probably the most well known laser vision surgery, and is often the one that is requested when patients come to Dr. Holcomb in the hopes of eliminating their need for glasses or contact lenses. LASIK is a very safe, precise, and effective procedure that uses a powerful laser to refine the shape of the cornea in order to address common types of vision impairment. LASIK surgery requires a short procedure and provides patients with almost immediate results. By the time recovery is complete, the majority of LASIK patients will enjoy 20/20 vision or better. However, as beneficial as LASIK is, it is not right for all patients. There are specific characteristics that make a patient an ideal LASIK candidate, including the following:
- A steady eye prescription for at least a year
- Healthy eyes that are free of disease or infection
- Corneas that are thick enough to support the creation of corneal flaps
Should a patient not be a good candidate for LASIK, Dr. Holcomb can discuss the option of PRK.
PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is another laser vision surgery that uses an excimer laser to refine the shape of the cornea to improve vision. Like LASIK, PRK has a high success rate and often results in 20/20 vision or better for patients. The main difference between LASIK and PRK is that PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap. Instead, the outer layers of the corneal cells are removed so that alterations can be made to the inner cells. As such, patients with thin corneas, who are not ideal candidates for LASIK surgery, are likely to be good PRK candidates. Because the outer corneal layer is removed, PRK does have a longer recovery time than LASIK, and a soft contact lens “bandage” will need to be worn while the eyes heal. Still, PRK is an excellent option for patients who are not LASIK candidates, but would still like to enjoy clear vision and freedom from prescription lenses.
Schedule an Appointment
LASIK and PRK are both excellent laser surgery options for patients who would like to permanently improve their vision. To learn more about these procedures, and to find out which may be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. William E. Holcomb at your earliest convenience.