The PRK procedure was the forerunner of LASIK. It is still performed today for certain patients, and it remains a reliable alternative providing excellent results. Since PRK is performed differently from LASIK, the postoperative recommendations are somewhat different.
If you are considering having PRK, let’s review what to expect after your PRK procedure.
Slower Healing Time
Although the outcome of your PRK procedure will be excellent, the healing time takes a bit longer than LASIK. Initially you will feel similar discomfort as you would with LASIK. Expect your eyes to feel itchy, blurry or hazy for several days. Be sure NOT to rub your eyes as you heal.
Medications and eye drops will be used to relieve the discomfort during this time. Since all of the cells of the epithelium have been removed prior to the laser reshaping your cornea, those cells must regenerate and it takes a little longer than with LASIK.
Expect a gradual improvement over days and perhaps weeks especially those patients who were farsighted.
It is important to return to the office for all your follow up visits so your healing can be monitored.
Expect a Contact Lens
Dr. Marten will protect your eyes with a contact lens for a brief period of time. You will return to the office at her direction to have it removed.
Protect Your Eyes
Expect to be light sensitive, so wear sunglasses for the first few weeks after PRK. In normal circumstances it is always wise to wear sunglasses while outside at any time.
Expect to remain at home for a few days after your PRK procedure as your eyes continue to heal. This is especially important if you work in a dusty environment or have the potential of eye trauma.
You want to protect your eyes from any chance of infections. For that reason refrain from wearing any eye makeup for at least one week. Not only do you avoid contamination from the makeup, you also are safe from disturbing your eyes as you remove it.
Precautions After PRK
Certain situations should be avoided after PRK. We have already mentioned dusty or smoky environments. Additional precautions include the following:
- Avoid getting water in your eyes for at least one week or longer. You may shower, bathe and wash your hair the day after PRK, but keep the water from getting into your eyes.
- For the same reason do not go swimming or get into a hot tub.
- Avoid sports activities for at least a week or anything that could cause eye trauma.
The ultimate outcome of enjoying clear vision without contact lenses or glasses serve to make this healing period and all the necessary precautions well worth the wait.
Contact South Texas Eye Institute or call 210.692.1388 if you have questions about the PRK procedure.