PRK Candidates - Is PRK Right for You?

By William Holcomb on January 12, 2016

Close-up of an eyeYou remember your vision deteriorating like it was yesterday. You would come home from school every day with a headache. You had to squint to see what was being written on the chalkboard or overhead projector. Your parents were worried that you had a learning disability. Then you went to the doctor for your annual checkup and could barely read the top lines of the eye chart. You went to the eye doctor, and started wearing glasses. Eventually, you wore contact lenses, but they felt uncomfortable. Now, years later, you wonder if there will ever be hope for you to experience life without glasses again. Patients can undergo laser vision correction procedures such as PRK to experience clearer vision. To find out if you are a good candidate for PRK, contact our Cullman, AL practice today.

About PRK

You have probably heard of LASIK eye surgery, but you may not have heard of PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). PRK is an alternative to LASIK in which the outer layer of the cornea is removed so the doctor can reshape the underlying corneal tissue with a laser. This procedure differs from LASIK because there is no flap created in the cornea. The result is a mildly less comfortable recovery, but the procedure results in permanently clear vision.

PRK is available for most laser eye surgery candidates, and it can be recommended to patients that do not qualify for LASIK. The procedure is a great option for patients with thin corneas, or those who frequently rub their eyes due to allergies. Many doctors will recommend PRK over LASIK for patients with higher nearsighted prescriptions and for younger, more active patients.

Good PRK Candidates

An overwhelming majority of people that wear glasses or contact lenses are good candidates for some form of laser vision correction. The FDA requires that patients be at least 18 years of age, with a glasses or contact lens prescription that has not changed in at least a year. People who feel frustrated with their dependence on glasses, and those that wish they could lead the more active lifestyle that freedom from glasses would allow, often turn to PRK. Many candidates feel they look better without glasses but have not had success with contact lenses, while others worry about misplacing glasses and being unable to function in a crisis.

Poor PRK Candidates

Women who are pregnant or nursing will need to postpone surgery. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause your vision to change, so it is best to wait at least three months after pregnancy and nursing. Patients with certain medical conditions will not qualify for PRK surgery. These conditions include vascular disease, immunodeficiency, and autoimmune disease. Patients who form excess scar tissue called keloids may not be eligible for the procedure. Finally, PRK cannot be performed on patients taking Accutane, Cordorone, Imitrex, or steroids.

Call Us for a Consultation

If you are ready to ditch your glasses and enjoy naturally good eyesight, then laser eye surgery, and PRK specifically, is a solution you can explore. Contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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