PRK and LASIK are both laser surgeries that successfully restore healthy vision but while these procedures offer similar visual outcomes they differ drastically in the way they are performed. Since every patient presents a unique vision condition with varying needs, the most appropriate procedure to achieve improved vision can only be determined by an experienced ophthalmologist. However, it is important that you know the difference between PRK and LASIK to make an informed decision.
The Difference between PRK and LASIK
Both PRK and LASIK are performed to change the shape of your cornea permanently using a laser but each procedure operates the cornea differently. In PRK, the outer surface of the cornea is removed without creating a flap but in LASIK, a corneal flap is created which is folded back to expose the underlying layers which are then reshaped to restore vision. Since PRK does not involve the creation of a flap, it has several downsides which include:
- A longer recovery period
- Discomfort after surgery
- The results usually take longer to manifest
- Irritation and itchiness increase when the cells are regenerating
However, if you want to avoid flap complications like flap displacement you can eliminate the risk by choosing PRK as it is a flapless procedure. PRK is also recommended to those who do not qualify as a good candidate for LASIK.
Candidacy for LASIK Surgery
LASIK can efficiently treat moderate astigmatism and farsightedness as well as severe nearsightedness but in order to experience a successful outcome you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must not be suffering from diabetes or collagen vascular disease
- You must not be taking any medication that interferes with your immune response
- Your eye should be healthy and free from diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal or corneal diseases
- You should not be suffering from any eye infections
- Your vision should be stable for at least one year before you undergo the procedure
Learn more about PRK vs. Lasik in this infographic that discusses every important detail you need to know before deciding what’s best for you
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