How does PRK work?
PRK is a very similar, sister procedure to LASIK. The most significant difference between LASIK and PRK is the way the top surface of the cornea, called the epithelium, is removed. This type of removal prolongs the healing process by a few days, but the results are exactly the same as LASIK over time. PRK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye called the cornea so the light rays that enter the eye bend in the correct way to give good vision. When a person wears their glasses or contacts, the light rays are altered in front of the eye.
When the cornea is reshaped, the light rays are altered on the surface of the eye. This means that with PRK the patient enjoys 24/7 vision correction, as compared to glasses or contacts that only provide the correcting effect when the patient is wearing lenses.
PRK for Nearsightedness
When a person is nearsighted, the eye is anatomically too long for the shape of that person’s cornea; therefore, the rays of light fall short of the person’s retina. This results in blurry vision for the patient.
To correct this blurry vision a patient can wear corrective lenses or potentially have PRK. With PRK, the corneal surface is flattened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. The results are that the rays of light now land in focus onto the retina giving a clear picture of the world to the patient.
PRK for Farsightedness
With PRK, the corneal surface is steepened with a cool laser beam to alter the path of the light rays. The results are that the rays of light now land in focus onto the retina giving a clear picture of the world to the patient.
PRK for Astigmatism
When a person has astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing distortion to both distance and near vision. With PRK, the corneal surface is reshaped to be spherical so the light rays bend in the correct fashion to focus the light which results in a clear picture.