|People who lead active lifestyles, who play
sports, or who have occupations that may increase their exposure to
possible eye trauma are also not ideal candidates for LASIK surgery.
This is because the corneal flap that is created during LASIK could
potentially become dislodged as a result of eye trauma. For these
patients, PRK would be a safer choice.
PRK and LASIK are
different in that PRK does not create a corneal flap. Instead, during
PRK vision correction surgery, the thin outer layer of the cornea
(epithelium) is brushed off, exposing the corneal bed underneath. This
corneal bed is then reshaped using an Excimer laser. A bandage contact
lens is placed on the eye, which helps the epithelium to heal properly.
The epithelium heals back normally within 3-4 days. After the epithelium
has healed, the bandage contact lens is removed by the doctor, usually
at the 1-week post-op appointment.
Other Factors for PRK
Patients must be at least 22 years old, with stable vision for at least
one year prior to surgery. The best candidates for PRK surgery are those
with moderate levels of hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia
(nearsightedness), or astigmatism. Those who have thin corneas or those
who have active lifestyles, such as active military personnel and others
whose jobs or hobbies may put them at greater risk for potential eye
trauma, may be good candidates for PRK.
It is important to
address any health problems or conditions before undergoing PRK to
ensure your health and safety. Individuals with autoimmune diseases,
vascular disease, immunodeficiency, or keratoconus are not good
candidates for PRK or LASIK. In addition, women who are pregnant or
nursing should not undergo PRK or LASIK. Pregnancy and nursing cause
hormonal changes that can cause instability in vision prescriptions.
Patients with excessive corneal scar tissue or who have had herpes virus
infections are not good candidates for PRK. There are also certain
medications like Cordorone, Imitrex, Accutane, and steroids that may
make you ineligible for PRK surgery.