Woman holding glasses in front of Rockville, MD Eye Doctor office.

PRK vs. LASIK Process & Recovery

Woman holding glasses in front of Rockville, MD Eye Doctor office.

PRK vs. LASIK Process & Recovery

If you’ve been told you’re not a candidate for LASIK surgery, you’re not entirely out of options. Those who aren’t a good fit for LASIK will most likely qualify for an alternative vision correction surgery such as PRK (photorefractive keratectomy).

PRK is similar to LASIK, but it corrects different parts of the cornea. It’s not only an alternative for patients whose corneas are too thin for LASIK but also for those with dry eyes or diseases of the corneal surface. Keep reading to learn more about this process and what it can offer you compared to LASIK.

What Is PRK?

PRK is a refractive surgery that reshapes the cornea with a laser, so the light entering the eye is focused on the retina to produce clear images. This is slightly different compared to LASIK. Both procedures use a laser to clear the outer layer of your eye; LASIK creates a thin flap in the cornea, while PRK removes a cornea layer that grows back over time. This is what makes it a better option for those with thin corneas.

What Does PRK Surgery Entail?

Much like LASIK, a PRK procedure begins with numbing drops and a special eyelid holder to keep you from blinking. The surgeon then entirely removes the cornea’s outer layer (called the epithelial layer) to expose the area, whereas, in LASIK, a thin, hinged flap is created in the cornea. For PRK and LASIK, the excimer laser is used to sculpt the cornea and correct the refractive error.

The PRK surgery time is usually about 10 minutes per eye, while LASIK takes about 30 minutes for both eyes. Both procedures are considered equally safe and typically result in 20/20 or better vision without needing glasses or contacts.

How Long Is PRK Recovery?

PRK recovery time can vary from several days to several weeks, generally longer than a LASIK recovery (which some recover from within a few hours). Eyes may feel sore or scratchy, and halos or glare around lights at night may be an issue for a few days. To help protect your eyes and promote healing, your doctor will place a bandage contact lens in your eye.

With both procedures, it’s essential to minimize activity and sun exposure for at least the first week to avoid vision problems. And don’t rub your eyes, which can damage your cornea. Your doctor will review all of these guidelines with you to make sure you’re clear and comfortable.

Why Choose Visionary Eye Doctors for PRK?

Visionary Eye Doctors is proud to offer expert PRK procedures. As a member of the trials that culminated in the FDA approval of PRK, our own Dr. J. Alberto Martinez continues to be at the forefront of this leading-edge technology.

The first step in determining your candidacy for any procedure is to schedule a consultation and comprehensive eye exam with one of our experienced surgeons. We will establish if PRK is the best path for your long-term vision health by utilizing advanced diagnostic technology.

Ready to find out if you’re a candidate? Call our office today at 301-867-7920 to schedule a consultation with our expert surgeons. You can also schedule an appointment online.

closeup of a woman putting a contact lens in her eye

Debunking Contact Lens Myths

closeup of a woman putting a contact lens in her eye

Imagine a life without glasses: no foggy lenses, no stopping to take them off before a workout, and no anxiety about losing or breaking them. If you wear glasses, you probably agree that those benefits sound pretty good! However, some common myths about contact lenses might be keeping you from making the switch to a simpler form of vision correction. Let’s delve into these misleading myths and learn why contact lenses just might be the change you need.

Myth 1: I’m too old for contact lenses

The only age restriction for contact lenses is whether you’re old enough. In the past, older adults were told not to wear them due to their higher likelihood of suffering from dry eyes or presbyopia (also called aging eye condition). The materials that contact lenses were made from in the past could make these conditions worse. Contact lenses are now made from a variety of materials, and your eye doctor can help you choose the best option for any eye condition you may have. These days, there are contacts specifically made for people who suffer from dry eyes. Some of them even contain added fluid to help moisturize your eyes, which helps to relieve the symptoms of dry eye.

Myth 2: Contact lenses can get stuck behind your eye

This is a scary one! Fortunately, it is not physically possible for a contact lens to get behind your eye. Our eyes are covered by a membrane that connects to the back of our eyelids to prevent anything from going behind the eye. If you can’t find your contact lens, it is most likely hiding under your upper eyelid. A contact lens can get “stuck” in your eye, but it is usually a soft lens and it cannot possibly migrate behind your eyeball. Adhering to proper guidelines for wearing your contact lenses will prevent them from getting stuck.

Myth 3: Contact lenses are too expensive

There are many options when purchasing contact lenses, and you should be able to work with your eye care provider to find one that fits your budget. If you have vision insurance, your policy may cover some or all of the cost of contacts, so be sure to call your insurance company for information. It’s also important to note that glasses require a large upfront investment, while contact lenses are generally a small monthly expense. While the annual cost of contact lenses might be slightly higher than that of glasses, many patients are willing to pay the difference for the freedom that contact lenses offer.

Myth 4: Contact lenses are a lot of trouble to take care of

Modern contact lenses require far less care than their predecessors. For minimal care requirements, you can choose daily disposable contact lenses, which require zero care. Even if you choose reusable contact lenses, most types can be cleaned, disinfected, and stored with one bottle of multiuse contact lens solution. Your eye care provider should instruct you on how to care for the type of contact lenses you choose. Eye infections can be easily prevented by following all instructions for the correct cleaning and storage of contact lenses.

Myth 5: Contact lenses are uncomfortable

While many contacts made 40 to 50 years ago were uncomfortable, modern contact lenses are thin, flexible, and soft. In fact, after a brief adjustment period, most people get so comfortable that they don’t even remember that they are wearing them! If you still experience discomfort after the adjustment period, there are several remedies that can help once your eye care doctor pinpoints the exact cause.

Contact Lens Services in Rockville With Visionary Eye Doctors

If you’re interested in trying contact lenses, we invite you to make an appointment with Visionary Eye Doctors. Our friendly team will help you decide if contact lenses are right for you. If you feel that you’re ready, we’ll work with you to find the best option for your eyes and lifestyle. If you’re nervous about making the change, our patient-centered team will help you test the waters with care and compassion. Nothing is more important to us than your eye health and overall well-being — and that may include beneficial lifestyle changes such as switching to contact lenses.

Call Visionary Eye Doctors at (301) 591-1763 or contact us online today to schedule an eye exam in the Washington, DC, area. We’d love to talk about switching to contact lenses!