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If I Don’t Qualify For LASIK, Can I Get PRK Instead?

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Did your eye doctor tell you that you are not a good candidate for LASIK? Do you want another alternative to LASIK?

Most people that aren’t good candidates for LASIK are good candidates for PRK. LASIK and PRK provide patients with almost identical results. Keep reading to find out if you can qualify for PRK if you aren’t right for LASIK!

What are some reasons you might not be a good candidate for LASIK?

Although LASIK is an incredible procedure, it is not right for everyone. This is why you must undergo a LASIK consultation to determine if you’re a LASIK consultation. These are some of the factors that go into LASIK candidacy:


LASIK is an FDA-regulated procedure. You have to be 18 or older to qualify for the procedure.

If you are under 18, you are not a good candidate. Your vision changes while you’re going through puberty. This means you shouldn’t undergo any vision procedures during this time. Wait to get LASIK once your sight is completely stable.

Thin Corneas:

LASIK works because it reshapes your corneas. If your corneas are too thin, then LASIK is not a good procedure for you.

Dry Eye Syndrome:

If you have dry eye syndrome and can’t get it under control, then LASIK won’t be a good fit. You must have symptoms of dry eye syndrome under control before you can get LASIK. The procedure can temporarily make your eyes even drier.

You’re Currently Pregnant or Planning on Getting Pregnant:

Changes in hormone levels can change a woman’s vision. Getting LASIK before or after pregnancy is not advised because of this.

Some vision changes from pregnancy can include dry eyes, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. Also, to perform the procedure, your eyes need to be dilated. The medications necessary for this get absorbed into the body and may hurt an unborn child.

Unstable Prescription:

To qualify for LASIK you need to have a stable prescription. It has to be stable for at least a year, but some LASIK surgeons require you to have unchanged vision for at least 2 years.

Not in Good Health:

In order for your body to heal after LASIK, you need to be healthy. Some medical conditions can make this more difficult. If you have an autoimmune condition like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV, you may not be able to get LASIK.

What is PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)?

PRK is another vision correction procedure that’s a lot like LASIK. It can correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.

Like LASIK, PRK also uses a laser to reshape your cornea. But the laser only changes the surface of the cornea, because PRK involves removing the outer layer of the cornea.

With LASIK a flap is created, which is not something that happens during PRK. The flap creation is why many patients with thinner corneas or dry eye syndrome may be better off choosing PRK. Creating a flap is not recommended for these patients.

PRK is a great option if your corneas are too thin for LASIK or if you have found out that you aren’t a good LASIK candidate. PRK can also help treat other eye conditions.

Are you finally ready to get PRK? Schedule an appointment at South Texas Eye Institute in San Antonio, TX, and make attaining visual freedom a priority!