What is photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)?

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of eye surgery to correct myopia (when you have trouble seeing clearly distant objects) and sometimes hypermetropia (difficulty to see clearly the nearby objects) andastigmatism (blurred vision at any distance).

Myopia occurs when the eye is too long for the focus of the cornea. Light rays that usually focus on the retina (photosensitive tissue at the back of the eye) are focused in front of it. This causes images to appear blurry.

During PRK the surgeon uses a laser to remove thin layers of tissue from the cornea. This changes the cornea focus so that the light rays focus on the retina or closer to the retina, which improves vision from a distance.

PRK is used to correct your distant vision and reduce your need for glasses or contact lenses.Be sure to talk toyour ophthalmologist about your chances of improved vision.

Do not wear any makeup the day of surgery.

The operation is performed in the medical ophthalmiccentre. You will need to arrange for someone to take you home about an hour after surgery. Allow for a few days to rest at home while your eye heals.

The doctor numbs the eye with special eye drops. The eye surgeon scrapes away the epithelium, which is the outer layer of the cornea.Then the doctor uses a special laser to remove thin layers of the stroma (the next layer of the cornea), until it is the right shape to improve your vision.

Your eyes may hurt until the epithelium grows again. This takes about 3 to 7 days. Your vision may be blurry during this period. Ask your ophthalmologist about medications that will reduce your discomfort.Often a contact lens is placed in your eye immediately after surgery to protect the surface of the eye and help with discomfort. Your doctor will remove the contact 3 or 4 days after the epithelium has healed.

Your vision may continue to change for several months.

After their eyes heal, many people (95% in some studies) have vision 20/20 or better after PRK. They do not need glasses or contacts to drive and many other activities.

If needed, your ophthalmologist may repeat the surgery to improve your vision.

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