How Long Is Recovery After PRK Laser Eye Surgery?
If you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, you may be one of the countless patients considering laser vision correction to improve your eyesight and quality of life. Laser eye procedures, such as LASIK and PRK, can allow you to wake up in the mornings without having to reach for your glasses or avoid the challenges of wearing contact lenses during allergy season. At Wang Vision Institute, our eye surgeons are world-renowned laser vision experts. They routinely perform LASIK and PRK laser eye surgeries for Nashville, TN patients and help them choose the right vision correction option to meet their needs. As the original laser eye surgery procedure, PRK may be preferred in some situations. Read on as our skilled eye surgeons describe this laser procedure and what to expect as your eyes heal during the PRK recovery process.
What is PRK laser eye surgery?
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a laser refractive eye surgery often performed on patients who desire laser vision correction but lack the corneal thickness required for LASIK success. PRK can improve vision problems, like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, or the effects of other eye conditions. To perform the procedure, our doctors will use a refined laser technique to remove the thin epithelial layer of tissue over the cornea covering the front portion of the eye. They will then reshape the curvature of the cornea to improve your visual acuity.
How long does PRK recovery take?
PRK eye surgery at Wang Vision Institute is generally a quick ten-minute procedure. Both eyes may be completed during one visit, or our eye surgeons may recommend waiting 1 – 2 weeks between performing PRK on each eye. After the PRK procedure, you will need to wear special contact lenses to protect your eyes for about 5 – 7 days as the epithelium regenerates and grows back over the cornea. This generally takes about two weeks.
What can I expect as my eyes heal?
During the PRK recovery process, you may experience eye discomfort, sensitivity to light, dry eyes, blurry vision, and a foreign-body sensation, or the feeling of having sand or something similar in your eye. We will schedule follow-up appointments at our Nashville, TN eye center to ensure your eyes are healing as expected. Your vision will be blurry for several days following the procedure, but your eyesight should improve as the days and weeks pass. Most patients experience optimal visual acuity between 1 – 3 months after having PRK laser eye surgery.
Recovery tips for the PRK healing process
Our eye surgeons at Wang Vision Institute offer Nashville, TN patients the following tips to follow during PRK recovery:
- Your eyes will be sore or feel irritated once the numbing solution used during your surgery wears off, and your vision will be very blurry. It is best to sleep for a few hours once you get home to allow your eyes to begin the recovery process.
- Take a few days off from work or school, and avoid working out or engaging in other strenuous physical activities for about a week.
- Avoid the urge to touch or rub your eyes, as this could dislodge the protective contact lenses covering your corneas. You should also prevent water and sweat from getting into your eyes as you heal.
- Any post-treatment eye discomfort can often be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. In some cases, our eye surgeons may recommend prescription eye drops to improve your comfort.
- Special eye drops may be prescribed to keep your eyes lubricated and help facilitate the PRK healing process. It is important to use these as recommended, which may be over the course of a month or longer, depending on your individual needs.
- Your eyes will be light-sensitive for a while following PRK surgery. Wearing sunglasses when outdoors can help protect your eyes and minimize the risk of corneal scarring, which may occur if your eyes are exposed to direct sunlight. Our vision experts will let you know for how long this may be necessary.
- Please contact Wang Vision Institute right away if your discomfort increases, you endure an eye injury, or you have other concerns regarding the PRK healing process.
Learn more about PRK laser eye surgery
PRK laser eye surgery is a tried-and-true technique that has improved the vision and lives of numerous men and women. To learn more about your vision correction options and the PRK recovery process, please schedule a visit at Wang Vision Institute in Nashville, TN today. Our expert eye surgeons look forward to helping you see your way to better vision!