PRK and LASIK Surgeries

Anyone who has ever worn glasses or contact lenses knows of the hassles. Who wouldn't prefer just to wake up in the morning and see the wall or the ceiling clearly? Or to spontaneously take a nap without worrying about taking off your contact lens? Not surprisingly more and more people are choosing to correct their vision through surgery.


PRK (Photorefractive Keratotomy) and LASIK (Laser In Situ Keratomileusis) are two laser eye surgery procedures. Both produce the same outcome. However the procedures are slightly different, although both use lasers to reshape the cornea. The PRK procedure has a high success rate, with a record of low complications. Patients of the LASIK procedure, on the other hand, experience less post-surgical pain.

What is Treated?

PRK and LASIK are used to treat myopia (nearsightedness -- a vision condition in which nearby objects are seen clearly, but far-away objects do not come into proper focus. Nearsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, so the light entering your eye is not focused correctly), hyperopia (farsightedness -- a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus. Farsightedness occurs if your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, so light entering your eye is not focused correctly), as well as astigmatism (a vision condition that occurs when the front surface of your eye, the cornea, is slightly irregular in shape. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the back of your eye, the retina. As a result, your vision may be blurred at all distances). A few surgeons have used this procedure to correct presbyopia (a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of your eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult for you to focus on close objects). This is a natural condition caused by aging and is usually experienced by people around the age of 40. It is important to note that PRK and LASIK do not treat diseases of the eye like glaucoma or cataracts.

Recovery

In most cases, people return to work and normal activities within a couple of days. The protective layer of the eye takes about 3-5 days to heal, so it is important that the patient takes care during these recovery days.

Vision will be fine in about a day, although it will continue to fluctuate during the next couple of weeks. After the surgery, vision will be blurry or foggy. Patients will experience sensitivity to light. Knowing this, it is recommended that sunglasses be worn at all times.

Patients will usually be asked to not rub the eyes for two weeks. Swimming, makeup wearing, smoking or any activities that may cause foreign objects to come in contact with the eyes are also ill advised.

Costs

Of course, the cost of this procedure varies from region to region and from doctor to doctor. In determining a fee for this procedure, clinics take into account administrative costs, maintenance costs, pre- and postoperative time spent with the patient, as well as postoperative medications. The average cost is estimated to be anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 per eye. The cost of this procedure, however, is dropping. The cost for the LASIK procedure tends to be a bit more because more equipment is used.

PRK

Procedure

The outpatient procedure takes about 5-10 minutes per eye. Drops are applied to the eye as an anesthetic. In order for the eye to remain open throughout the whole procedure, a device called speculum is placed over the eye. A laser, called an excimer laser, is used to remove accurate amounts of tissue from the cornea.

Risks

About 1-2 percent of patients will get an infection or a hazy cornea after the procedure. Serious complications are extremely rare. Infection can usually be eliminated with antibiotic medications. Other possible problems include delayed surface healing and or scarring, over- or under-correction, and the development of astigmatism. These, and other problems can usually be treated with antibiotics.

LASIK

Procedure

Like PRK, LASIK procedure takes about 5-10 minutes. A suction ring is placed over the cornea of the eye after anesthetic eye drops are applied. The LASIK procedure uses two devices: the microkeratome and the excimer laser. The microkeratome is a mechanical "shaver" that moves back and forth at an excessive rate. The suction ring contains "guide tracks" that maintain an accurate path for the microkeratome. The microkeratome lifts the cap of the cornea, with a portion of the cornea left in tact to provide a hinge. The suction ring and the microkeratome are then removed. The middle portion of the cornea is exposed after the flap of cornea is folded back. Tissue is then removed and the center of the cornea is reshaped using the excimer laser. The hinged flap of cornea is folded back into its original location.

Risks

The side effects of the LASIK procedure are similar to those of the PRK. The most common side effects are temporary light sensitivity and halos. This is usually temporary. Infections can occur as well. This is an extremely rare occurrence. Antibiotics are usually used in the postoperative period.

20/20 Guarantee?
People eager to indulge in the dream of having 20/20 vision without glasses and contacts will be disappointed. As a matter of fact, almost all post-surgery patients still need to wear their contacts or glasses for night driving and reading.

Is it right for me?

Unfortunately not everyone can be a candidate for laser eye surgery. Since eye prescriptions fluctuate throughout adolescence, it is essential that a potential patient be at least 21 years of age and maintain the same prescription for about a year. Likewise, a candidate must not be pregnant or nursing at the time of the surgery. It is also important to take note of the fact that each person will react to the surgery differently depending on his or her healing process.

Subsequent surgery may be required for some people who have extremely high prescriptions and large pupils. They are also most likely to have night vision disturbance and dry eyes. Again, it is imperative to openly discuss these issues with the surgeon.

Comments

Post new comment

Similar

Eyelash Transplant Surgery may Keep your Lashes on Growing

Eyelash Transplant Surgery may Keep your Lashes on Growing Eyelash transplantation can be used to replace eyelashes that have been damaged by trauma, or to enhance existing eyelashes that are otherwise short and/or sparse. The use of the single-follicle hair

Sports Specific Protective Eyewear: for The Protection of Eye Injuries

Sports Specific Protective Eyewear: for The Protection of Eye Injuries If you encourage your child and set an example yourself, though, chances are a few sports will spark his or her interest. Fan the flame by taking your child to local sporting events and explaining

Vision Problems for Spending Too much Time In Front of Computer Screen

Vision Problems for Spending Too much Time In Front of Computer Screen The 2001 U.S. Census Report states that over 143 million Americans spend time at a computer every day, and that 54 million of those are children.Eyestrain is the number one complaint of office

Check your Eye Whether You are At Risk of Glaucoma or Not

Check your Eye Whether You are At Risk of Glaucoma or Not Many people have some type of visual problem at some point in their lives. Some can no longer see objects far away. Others have problems reading small print. These types of conditions are often

Long Time Computer Using May Lead to Vision/ Eyesight Problems

Long Time Computer Using May Lead to Vision/ Eyesight Problems Eyestrain associated with computer use isn't thought to have serious or long-term consequences, but it's disruptive and unpleasant. Though you may not be able to change the nature of your job or all

Prevent Severe Eyelid Spasm /Blepharospasm by Natural Drinking

Prevent Severe Eyelid Spasm /Blepharospasm by Natural Drinking Blepharospasm is associated with an abnormal function of the basal ganglion from an unknown cause. The basal ganglion is the part of the brain responsible for controlling the muscles. In rare cases,

Eyeglass or Contact Lens Benefits Risk and Tips to Select Proper One

Eyeglass or Contact Lens Benefits Risk and Tips to Select Proper One In the past, eyeglass lenses were made exclusively of glass; today, however, most lenses are made of plastic. Plastic lenses are lighter, do not break as easily as glass lenses, and can be treated