Tips for a Smooth, Successful PRK Recovery
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on November 11, 2014
LASIK surgery has become the most popular laser vision correction procedure, offering a great number of patients long-term vision improvement with little to no reliance on glasses or contact lenses. However, despite the benefits of LASIK surgery, it is not right for everyone. Fortunately, there is an alternative for those patients who are not ideal LASIK candidates. PRK surgery offers long-term laser vision correction in a procedure that differs from LASIK in its technique, but provides patients with similarly successful vision improvement. While candidacy, surgical technique, and surgeon experience are vital to a successful PRK procedure, it is also important that patients care for the eyes properly throughout recovery. Dr. Andrew E. Holzman provides Washington DC patients with PRK recovery tips that will help to ensure a smooth and successful recovery period.
During PRK surgery, vision is improved by making changes to the shape of the cornea so that light can be focused properly, allowing for crisper, clearer vision. Unlike LASIK, which uses a corneal flap to grant access to the underlying tissues of the cornea, during PRK, the entire outer layer of the cornea is removed during surgery. The surgical laser is then applied to the surface of the cornea to make necessary alterations. Because of the techniques used during PRK, recovery and full vision improvement results will take longer than that of a LASIK recovery. In order to ensure a successful recovery, patients will need to be patient with healing and carefully adhere to provided post-surgical instructions. Below are some tips that are helpful in experiencing a successful PRK recovery:
- It is very important to keep the provided soft, clear contact lenses in the eyes for three to five days (as instructed), as these will protect the eyes and assist in the healing process
- Use eye drops as directed to keep the eyes moist, avoid infection, and manage discomfort
- Pain medication can also be used as directed to help control pain or discomfort
- Wear protective goggles when sleeping at night for at least the first week of recovery
- It is very important to avoid rubbing or scratching the eyes
- Avoid areas that are especially dusty or smoky, which could increase eye irritation
- Refrain from wearing any eye make-up or facial products around the eyes for at least the first week of recovery
- While most normal activities can be resumed within a few days, avoid strenuous exercises and other activities that have potential to cause injury to the eyes for several weeks
- Avoid swimming and the use of saunas or hot tubs for at least three weeks
- Maintain all follow-up eye care appointments and inform Dr. Holzman of any potential signs of complication
- Vision is likely to fluctuate for up to six months after treatment, so be patient and have realistic expectations for vision improvement during recovery
Dr. Andrew E. Holzman is a leader in the field of laser vision correction. If you are interested in reducing your dependency on corrective lenses, contact us at your earliest convenience to find out if LASIK or PRK surgery is right for you. We look forward to working with you toward your goal of crisp, clear vision!