Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser eye surgery used to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This article provides information regarding the recovery process of this surgery.
People who have to depend on eye glasses as well as contact lenses for clear vision are opting for laser eye surgery. One of the main reasons for this is that, though eye glasses provide a clear image, they hinder the peripheral vision. Some people opt for lenses which give them a clear vision without hampering their looks; however, long time use of these lenses may cause major eye complications. Therefore, many people choose to undergo laser eye surgery to correct their vision permanently. Nevertheless, there are several eye surgeries which may help correct a person’s vision. Among the different types of eye surgeries, photorefractive keratectomy is the one that is very commonly performed.
Photorefractive keratectomy is a laser eye surgery which was introduced in 1980, but the first procedure was conducted only in the year 1987. This surgery was the most popular way of correcting vision problems before the introduction of LASIK. Although the recovery time of LASIK surgery is much lesser than that of PRK, many people prefer PRK over LASIK. This is because the chances of corneal infection is very less with PRK compared to LASIK. During LASIK surgery, the cornea is slitted to create a flap through which the doctor can access the eye.
On the other hand, in photorefractive keratectomy, the doctors take away certain bits of the cornea to give it a new shape. The patient is administered pain-relieving medication as well as numbing eyes drops before the procedure. The surgery takes around fifteen minutes, and the patient can go home on the same day.
The patient takes a long time to recover from this surgery. The recovery time can be anywhere between a few weeks to many months. Moreover, it takes at least six months to know whether the surgery has been successful in correcting the person’s vision correctly. However, even though this is a huge drawback, many surgeons recommend the PRK surgery to people who have a thin cornea.
Immediately after the surgery, a bandage contact lens may be applied to heal the surface of the eye. This temporary contact lens should be worn for the first 3-4 days. After this, the patient may carry out with his daily activities; however, it is important to follow the instructions given by the surgeon to make sure that no complications arise during the healing period.
Though it is fine to go on with one’s daily activities after five days, one must avoid any kind of vigorous activities or exercises for a week or two. As the eye may get dry after the surgery, patients should avoid using the computer or watching television for long periods of time. Dryness of the eyes can be treated using the eye drops recommended by the doctor. Apart from this, taking omega-3 fatty acids also helps faster healing of the eyes.
The vision may not be clear for the first few weeks after the surgery, and the doctor may recommend wearing glasses while going out, night driving, reading, etc. The vision may stabilize gradually; however, it may take around 6 weeks to 6 months after the operation to achieve the perfect vision. Regular visits to the doctor is recommended for at least a few times during the first 6 months after surgery.
Even after your eyes have completely recovered, it is important to take extreme care of your eyes for at least a year after the surgery. This includes wearing sunglasses while going out in the sun, preventing your eyes from getting dry with the regular use of eye drops, and by consuming a healthy and nutritious diet.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.