If you are considering undergoing laser vision correction to improve vision and reduce your dependency on prescription eyewear, it is important that you understand your options. LASIK is the most well-known laser vision correction procedure used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Another lesser known option is photorefractive keratectomy, also known as PRK.

Clarity Eye Group believes in giving patients the power of choice when it comes to vision correction and eye care. Our board-certified eye surgeons have collectively performed over 65,000 refractive procedures and can help you navigate your options so you can make the best decision for your vision. Here, our team explains what you need to know about LASIK and PRK.

What LASIK and PRK Accomplish

Both LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea so that light entering the eye can be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision. Both procedures use an excimer laser to reshape the corneal tissue. LASIK and PRK accomplish the same goal. The main difference between the procedures comes in some of the steps involved in reshaping the cornea.

What Makes LASIK Different

During LASIK, a thin flap is created in the cornea. The flap can be created using a handheld surgical blade called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The flap exposes the underlying corneal tissue that will be reshaped with an excimer laser.

One advantage LASIK has over PRK is the recovery period. LASIK patients are usually fully recovered within a day after surgery. At this time, they can resume most normal activities, including driving and reading.

What Makes PRK Different

With PRK, no corneal flap is created. Instead, the thin outer layer of the cornea (called the epithelium) is removed. The underlying corneal tissue is reshaped with an excimer laser and the epithelium layer repairs itself within a few days after surgery.

PRK is a good option for patients who have really thin corneas that cannot withstand the creation of a flap. It is also a good option for patients with irregular astigmatism, chronic dry eye or who have had prior eye surgery. Because PRK does not involve creating a corneal flap, there is no risk of flap complications.

Choosing a Procedure

Both LASIK and PRK are safe and have a high success rate. Ultimately the best procedure for you depends on various factors, which our eye surgeons at Clarity Eye Group can assess during an in-office consultation. If you are ready to reclaim your independence from prescription eyewear and restore clear vision, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Clarity Eye. Contact our Huntington Beach office and speak to a member of our team today.