PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy What Is It, What Are The Benefits and The Risks – My Research


What I learned about PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy.

Are you struggling to see things clearly? I couldn’t believe it, but about a year ago, I couldn’t read the small print on the back of product labels any more.  I was also getting ultra tired when I had to drive at night… So I went for an eye exam, and of course… I needed glasses…  and I hate wearing glasses… That’s why I started researching what we affiliate marketers can do if our vision starts going down the drain… 

If you have to wear glasses or contact lenses to be able to function normally… Then you gotta read this because it’s the best thing I came across that is proven to work (and no that’s not an affiliate marketing bs claim, LOL right?)  

A lot of people have vision problems and it seems like it’s only getting a bigger issue. When I was a kid I didn’t notice many people with glasses. It was something of a stereotype that only the computer geeks and some people that study 24/7 have them. Today the situation is a lot different. Most people have some sort of corrective eyesight issues. Wearing glasses is now socially accepted and unlike maybe in the past, you won’t get bullied for doing so. People wear glasses, contacts, or do surgeries to improve them. 

Glasses are the usual choice, but they also have some downsides. Rain, cold weather, and some activities make them a hindrance. Also, they are pure hell with most face masks that we have to use nowadays. You also cant wear glasses everywhere, activities like swimming make their use incredibly limited. 

What Types of Corrective Eye Surgeries Are There?

The age-old vision problem has multiple solutions that vary in quality and price. The most popular corrective eye surgeries are:

  • LASIK (Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis)
  • LASEK (Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis)
  • EpiLasik
  • ALK (Automated Lamellar Keratoplasty)
  • RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange)
  • PRELEX (Presbyopic Lens Exchange)
  • Intacs
  • Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants
  • AK (Astigmatic Keratotomy)
  • PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

Most of these procedures try to reshape the cornea so that the light passing through it. Some techniques go even further and try to replace the lens of the eye or insert external lenses into your eye. 

Out of these surgeries, LASIK and PRK are currently the most popular and successful ones. Of course, not every surgery is meant for every type of eye disease or problem, so sometimes the choice might be very limited. 

Out of these two, the choice is often a difficult one. But most experts agree that PRK is the better choice all in all. 

What Is PRK (PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy)?

PRK or Photorefractive Keratectomy is a type of refractive surgery. It uses lasers to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors in the eye. Refractive errors happen when your eye does not refract (bend) the light properly and thus causes blurry or foggy vision. 

PRK can change the shape of your cornea, thus helping the light properly reflect within your eye. This technique can be used to treat a variety of eye diseases like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The goal of this procedure is to reduce the need for corrective vision devices like eyeglasses and contact lenses. And in some cases, the procedure can be so effective that the patient does not need any vision devices for proper vision. 

The system is very complicated and an advanced computer tracks the patient’s eye up to 4,000 times a second to ensure that the laser doesn’t hit a spot that it isn’t supposed to. The laser targets the outer layer of the cornea. This layer is soft and usually regrows fast within a few days. That soft layer called the corneal epithelium is removed and discarded, allowing the cells to regenerate after surgery. While removing it, the lens is slightly shaped to correct the patient’s vision. Unlike some forms of eye correction surgeries like LASIK, PRK doesn’t create permanent flaps on deeper layers of the cornea. 

What Do You Need To Know Before Undergoing Eye Surgery aka PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy?

Prk photorefractive keratectomy
Prk photorefractive keratectomy what is it, what are the benefits and the risks - my research 3

Getting eye surgery is not something you can decide today for tomorrow. You will need to decide well in advance, consult a doctor or an expert. Check if you are an eligible candidate and much more. 

Some of the basic requirements for PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy are:

  • You are 18 or older
  • Your vision hasn’t changed in the last year or more
  • Your vision can be improved to at least 20/40
  • If you are nearsighted, your prescription must be between -1.00 and -12.00 diopters
  • You are not pregnant

Even if you meet the basic requirements, some special situations can make you ineligible for the surgery. Some of these are:

  • Chronic allergies that affect your eyes
  • Conditions that impact vision and eyes like glaucoma or diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases like arthritis or lupus
  • Thin corneas that are not suitable for operation
  • Large pupils that elevate the risk of visual degradation
  • Previous surgeries on the eyes

If you still think you qualify for PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy, you will have to get approved by the doctors that will perform the surgery. They have their methodology of testing if you are an eligible candidate as they don’t want to ruin your eyesight further. 

The price is also something you should consider before making plans for corrective eye surgery. These types of surgeries are not covered under healthcare as they are considered voluntary. This means that you will need to pay with your own money, and sadly, these procedures are not cheap. In high-end clinics, these procedures can cost from $5,000 to $10,000! That is a hefty sum and not everyone can fork out that much. 

Some people chose to go to foreign countries where it’s a lot cheaper and get it done there, but that always has its risks attached to it. 

What Does Recovery Look Like from PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy and What Are the Risks?

What is lasik surgery and prk photorefractive keratectomy
Prk photorefractive keratectomy what is it, what are the benefits and the risks - my research 4

One of the biggest differences between LASIK and PRK is the recovery time. With LASIK, you could be up to full vision within a few days, while PRK might take up to a month to get your full vision. 

After PRK, you will have to weak small contact-like bandages over your eye for some time. These sometimes cause irritation and light sensitivity for a few days, until your epithelium starts healing. After about a week, these bandages should get removed, and then your vision will get a lot clearer. 

You will have to continue with the healing process by using eye drops or some forms of lubrication to keep your eyes moist and healthy. You may even experience some mild pain and/or discomfort. 

Your vision should slowly get better and better by each day. After around a month, your eyes should be fully healed and your vision should be as good as possible!

LASIK and PRK should be equally effective, but it is important to know that the processes are a bit different. LASIK has a far shorter recovery time and PRK is considered generally safer. But as with any surgery, there are some risks involved!

Possible risks of these corrective PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy surgeries are:

  • Eye Dryness
    This is far more common with LASIK than PRK, and it can last for six months, or sometimes even permanently.
  • Visual Issues

Sometimes the surgeries don’t go as well as they are supposed to and your vision can be damaged in a particular way. These issues include things like glares from bright lights, halos around lights, or double vision. Sometimes, your vision at night might be worse than before, but this usually isn’t permanent. 

  • Visual Clarity

Sometimes, during the procedures, not enough corneal tissue is removed. This can lead to under-correction or not enough visual clarity. This can be sometimes remedied by a follow-up surgery. 

  • Visual Distortion
    As opposed to removing too little tissue, sometimes too much is removed. This can lead to visual distortions called ectasia. This is a very serious issue that needs to be solved as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your eyes. 
  • Astigmatism
    Due to the surgery, sometimes, the eye curve can change for the worse and make your vision worse. This can cause you to wear glasses again or do a follow-up surgery.
  • Permanent Vision Loss

This is very rare, but it does happen sometimes. There is a tiny risk of complications that can lead to partial or total vision loss.

Problems with these surgeries are rare but they do sometimes happen. You should weigh the potential risks with the benefits and decide if surgery is the best choice for you. 

Should You Get PRK Surgery?

As with most things, this is a personal question that is best answered by yourself. Eye correction surgery using PRK Photorefractive Keratectomy has the chance to improve your life dramatically. You can say bye to corrective glasses and contact lenses and just look at the world clearly with your two eyes. Of course, this is all easier said than done. The surgeries themselves have some risks attached to them that you should be aware of, and they aren’t the cheapest thing you can do. 

But for most people, they are well worth their price. Nothing beats having perfect vision, and that’s is where corrective eye surgeries like PRK and LASIK come into play. Most experts recommend PRK for its safety, but the choice should be done by consulting an expert on the topic. 

Do you have vision problems? Have you ever considered undergoing corrective eye surgery? Let me know in the comments.

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