Laser vision correction procedures have revolutionized the field of ophthalmology, offering patients a way to improve nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism while reducing their dependence on glasses and contact lenses. There are two major types of laser vision correction available at the Nielsen Eye Center: LASIK and PRK. Both of these procedures have similar benefits and have proven very effective at correcting common vision disorders and refractive errors; however, there are some significant differences between the two procedures that can make one option better than the other for some patients.
LASIK and PRK are both outpatient procedures that typically take only minutes to perform. Both treatments also involve the reshaping of the eye’s cornea to correct myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism conditions that cause blurry, unfocused vision at certain distances. There is little to no discomfort associated with either procedure.
With those similarities in mind, we can explore some of the differences between these two advanced treatments:
- During the LASIK procedure, a corneal flap is created and a laser is used to precisely correct refractive errors and improve vision. The flap is then replaced, where it should heal naturally, without the need for stitches. With PRK, a corneal flap is not necessary. The laser removes a small layer of tissue from the surface of the cornea. This makes the corneal surface flatter and better able to properly refract light.
- PRK is often a very good alternative for patients who have thin corneas or other conditions that make them less than ideal candidates for LASIK.
- Temporary side effects from LASIK procedures, such as eye irritation and light sensitivity, usually do not last very long. These effects can often take several days to dissipate after PRK treatment.
- Patients with irregularly curved corneas, or a history of dry eye may be better-suited to PRK.
If you have questions about laser vision correction, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.