There are many ways to deal with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. When you meet with a skilled Chicago cornea surgeon at our practice, we will assess your candidacy for refractive surgery. These safe laser eye surgery options allow you to achieve clearer vision without the aid of corrective lenses.
Two of the most popular options for laser eye surgery are LASIK and PRK. They both are performed in a similar manner, but they differ in very important ways. We'd like to take a few moments right now to compare LASIK to PRK so you have a good understanding of what is involved and what to expect.
What is LASIK surgery?
Chicago LASIK is one of the most popular laser eye surgery procedures available today. Millions have undergone the surgery worldwide. During LASIK surgery, patients are first given numbing eye drops to ensure they feel no pain. A special surgical laser is then used to create a flap in the outermost part of the cornea (the epithelium). Through this flap in the cornea, a surgeon can reshape the cornea with a another safe surgical laser. The corneal flap is then set back in place.
Ideal Candidates for LASIK Surgery
Ideal candidates for LASIK are at least 18 years of age, have had a stable prescription for at least a year, have not suffered from an eye infection in recent months, and have healthy corneas. Even though custom LASIK technology has made LASIK a possibility for more people, those with thin corneas may need a LASIK alternative in order to get the treatment that they need.
What is PRK surgery?
PRK is another effective laser eye surgery option, and is actually something of a precursor to LASIK surgery. It's performed in much the same way as LASIK surgery, but instead of creating a flap in the cornea's surface, the epithelium is removed in order to access the cornea. The epithelium will regrow on its own and heal naturally.
Ideal Candidates for PRK Surgery
Much like LASIK, the best candidates for PRK are at least 18 years of age, have had a stable prescription for at least a year, have not suffered from an eye infection in recent months, and have healthy eyes in general. Many times people with thin corneas will undergo PRK rather than LASIK.
Recovering from Surgery - Comparing LASIK and PRK
Apart from the surgical procedure, LASIK and PRK differ in terms of the recovery period. Generally, LASIK offers patients a slightly faster and generally more comfortable recovery experience than PRK. After PRK, patients will require an extra day or two to heal, and usually notice more discomfort or irritation of the eyes. When you are at our practice undergoing consultation for refractive surgery, our Chicago ophthalmologists and optometrists will be able to discuss both surgeries in more detail and let you know which is better for you and your needs.
Learn More About Refractive Surgery and Vision Correction
To learn more about LASIK, PRK, and other options for vision correction, be sure to contact our Chicago refractive surgery and eye care practice today. The entire team looks forward to discussing these matters with you in more detail.