PRK Surgery Recovery Timeline

closeup of hazel eyes on a woman

Photorefractive keratectomy, better known as PRK, has become a popular alternative vision correction surgery for those who aren’t a good fit for LASIK. The process involves reshaping the cornea with a laser, so light entering the eye is focused on the retina to produce clear images. PRK surgery time is usually about 10 minutes per eye and involves numbing drops for a painless experience.

But what happens afterward? What does the recovery process look like in the following days and weeks? If a PRK surgery is in your future, our timeline will give you a clear idea of what to expect after the procedure.

First Few Days

As with most surgeries, the first few days are the most critical period in the recovery process. With PRK, this is when the epithelium regrows to cover your cornea. To help promote this healing and protect your eyes, your doctor will place a bandage contact lens in your eye. This contact will need to be worn for about five days after your surgery.

You may also experience:

  • Sore or scratchy eyes: You must not rub your eyes while they are healing. You may want to use over-the-counter pain medicine for any discomfort.
  • Halos or glare around lights at night: An eye mask can be used while sleeping if this is bothersome.
  • Dryness: You will receive eye drops to keep them lubricated.

You will need to schedule a checkup with your surgeon a few days after your procedure to see how your healing progresses.

Week One

Based on the results of your post-surgery checkup, your doctor will provide you with guidelines to address any complications and make sure you’re comfortable as you continue to heal. In general, you may continue to experience:

  • Sensitivity to light: Minimize sun exposure during the first week.
  • Glare or other night vision issues: Sunglasses may help with this issue if you must be out past dark.
  • Soreness: Remember to avoid rubbing your eyes, so you don’t damage your cornea.

The good news is your eyes will make the most progress during this time, so you should see a dramatic improvement in your eyesight.

Weeks Two to Four

Healing should have progressed enough by this point that you can drive safely and return to work. Most visual side effects should be gone by now, though occasional glares or halos are not uncommon for the first month. You will likely continue to use prescription eyedrops that keep these symptoms at bay as the corneal tissue heals. However, if you have any concerning or worsening symptoms, you should contact your surgeon.

Around this time, you can also begin to add back in activities that were limited in the first week, including wearing makeup or face lotion and getting your hair colored. For the first couple of weeks, though, you should continue to avoid:

  • High-impact or contact sports
  • Swimming or hot tubs
  • Dusting or working around dirt that could affect the cornea’s healing

Two Months

Side effects will continue to diminish during this time, with halos disappearing and glare becoming less of an issue. Night vision should also improve, though you may still feel occasional dryness. Your surgeon will let you know how often you need to be seen based on progressing your healing.

Six Months

By this time, you should have fully recovered from PRK surgery and met with your surgeon multiple times to evaluate the procedure’s success. Your vision will likely have reached maximum improvement. PRK typically results in 20/20 or better vision without needing glasses or contacts!

Visionary Eye Doctors is at the forefront of PRK 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.

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PRK vs. LASIK Process & Recovery

closeup of a woman putting a contact lens in her eye

Debunking Contact Lens Myths

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 301-896-0890 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!

Glasses held close to the camera with a man's blurry face behind them

LASIK Recovery Guide

LASIK eye surgery is one of the most common elective surgeries in the United States. The procedure usually takes about 10 minutes, and you should see dramatically improved vision in just 12 to 24 hours! Still, your eyes may need up to six months to recover fully. Use this LASIK recovery guide so you know what to expect during each phase of the healing process.

Immediately After LASIK

Recovery from laser eye surgery begins right away. Slight swelling may occur, so you may notice foggy or hazy vision or halos around lights, especially at night. These side effects should improve as the swelling goes down within 24 hours, though minor haloing may linger for up to a month.

Other typical, temporary side effects may include:

  • Mild stinging and redness
  • Eye-watering or dryness
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Light sensitivity

In the first few hours after LASIK, use the anesthetic eyedrops your surgeon gives you to combat discomfort. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help.

Then, even if you feel perfectly normal, follow these precautions:

  • Get a ride home on LASIK treatment day.
  • Refrain from rubbing your eyes, or you could displace the corneal flap and cause complications.
  • Go to bed early the day of your surgery to help your corneas begin healing.
  • Wear the protective eye shields your surgeon gives you while you sleep.

The First Few Weeks After LASIK

Your first post-operative appointment will take place 24 hours after your laser eye surgery. A clinician will check the condition of your corneas and ensure everything looks right. You may have another appointment for a one-week post-op. However, contact your eye doctor immediately if you experience any pain, redness, discharge, or degraded vision before your next checkup.

Your vision should settle two to three months after LASIK. In the meantime, follow your surgeon’s instructions about using antibiotic eye drops to guard against infection and steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. You can also combat dryness with artificial tears.

Then, follow these precautions to further avoid injury and infection:

  • Wear sunglasses always until your eyes no longer feel light-sensitive.
  • Continue wearing your eye shields while you sleep.
  • Continue to avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Avoid dusty environments and gardening for one week.
  • Don’t wear eye makeup for a week.
  • Avoid sports and exercise for one week, and don’t play contact sports for at least a month.
  • Keep water out of your eyes for a week and avoid swimming for at least a month.

One to Six Months After LASIK

You can resume all normal activities after a month, with the exception of some contact sports. Continue keeping your eyes lubricated with artificial tears, especially when working at a computer for long hours.

If you have a high prescription, your vision may take up to six months to settle. At your six-month appointment, your clinician will determine if your vision has reduced at all. While this is rare, re-treatment is easily performed if necessary.

One Year After LASIK

You’ve gotten used to the freedom of not wearing glasses and contact lenses by now, but you need one final follow-up at the one-year mark. At this point, you can expect to be discharged to the care of your local optometrist. Continue to schedule routine eye exams every one to two years to monitor your eye health and ensure clear vision for the foreseeable future!

Schedule LASIK With Visionary Eye Doctors

Are you ready to achieve crystal-clear vision with LASIK? The first step is to schedule a consultation with an experienced eye surgeon at Visionary Eye Doctors. We can determine if you’re a candidate for LASIK and assess the overall health of your eyes to establish a long-term vision plan for you.

To get started, please contact us online or call us at 301-896-0890. We have offices in Rockville, MD; Damascus, MD; and Washington, DC, to better serve you.

closeup of a woman putting eyedrops in

What Does Getting LASIK Feel Like?

The idea of sitting through a LASIK surgery can be nerve-wracking, and we at Visionary Eye Doctors understand. We’re here to make the process as relaxed and comforting as possible, so we assembled answers to the most common questions we receive about what to expect during a LASIK procedure.

How Long Will the Surgery Take?

The LASIK procedure for each eye only takes about 10 to 15 minutes total, and the actual laser time per eye is only about a minute each depending on the severity of your prescription. It is over quite quickly, and you will spend it reclined in a comfortable chair.

Do the Numbing Drops Sting?

Before the procedure begins, a numbing eyedrop will be administered so that you won’t feel any pain. The drops should feel like any other you may use for dry eyes and shouldn’t sting or cause any discomfort themselves.

What if I Need to Blink?

A small instrument called a lid speculum is placed between your eyelids, so you don’t have to worry about blinking during the surgery. Plus, the numbing drops help eliminate the urge to blink, which means you won’t be fighting any impulses.

Will It Hurt To Stare at the Light?

The light you are asked to stare at is not the actual laser. It is only meant to help keep your eye still while the laser does its job. The light is not dangerous and won’t cause any pain.

What Should I Expect During the Laser?

You may experience a slight pressure on the eye when the surgeon applies the microkeratome, the instrument used to create the corneal flap, but it is not painful. You may also notice sounds (the laser’s pulse makes a ticking noise) and smells (some report a burning hair smell as the laser removes corneal tissue). Remember, this portion takes less than a minute per eye so the sensations won’t last long.

How Will My Eyes Be Protected After?

Since there are no stitches involved, a shield will be placed over your eyes to keep you from rubbing or putting pressure on your eye while sleeping. It’s important to keep this shield on to avoid any accidental contact until the flap has fully mended.

We hope this guide helps you feel more confident about moving forward with a LASIK procedure! If you have any other questions or would like to request a consultation, reach out to our team online or call us at 301-867-7920.

Computer screen light reflect from glasses. Close up of eyes. Business man, coder or programmer working late at night with laptop. Thoughtful focused guy in dark. Reflection of monitor.

Do Computers Cause Myopia?

Myopia (nearsightedness) affects 40% of North Americans with a staggering growth rate over the past two decades that has qualified the condition as a global epidemic. Myopia is projected to affect 58% of the population by 2050. The recent spike in myopia cases has spurred research into the effect of computer screen exposure, and the blue light digital screens emit, on developing eyes. Learn more about what myopia is, how computer exposure is connected to the condition, and how you can prevent it to protect one of your essential senses.

Contact Visionary Eye Doctors in Rockville, MD, to learn how to safeguard your eyesight with responsible myopia management. Call us today at (301) 896-0890.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is not an eye disease but an eye focusing disorder. It is caused by the inability of the eye to refract or bend light as it should. Instead, light from a distant object forms an image before it reaches the retina. This refractive error blurs distant objects while keeping near objects clear. Myopia occurs when either the eye is too long or the cornea is too steep. Untreated myopia can lead to headaches, eyestrain, and a further decline in vision. Myopia’s growing prevalence has made it a real public health issue for the world to confront.

Computer Screen Exposure Puts You at Risk for Developing Myopia

According to research from the American Optometric Association, those who clock considerable hours working/reading from a computer screen, or engaging in other close visual activities, have been shown to be more likely to develop myopia. This is especially true in children who engage in frequent computer use before the age of 10 years when the eye is still developing. The quantity of time spent in front of digital devices at close range is what ultimately damages eye health. Eye strain, coupled with the blue light of digital devices and LED screens, damages the back of the eye.

While the eye can block many damaging UV light rays, blue light is able to pass straight through the lens and cornea to the retina and light-sensitive nerves, degrading the macular pigment in the eye. This damage leads to macular degeneration and ultimately blindness.

While macular degeneration is commonly seen in adults 40 years and older, health professionals predict that many more of the younger generation will develop macular degeneration at an accelerated rate due to electronic devices. Glaucoma and other retinal degenerative diseases also stem from too much exposure.

Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Help Prevent Myopia?

72% of our population is unaware of the dangers of blue light despite its prevalence in our world. Other than from the sun, much of the dangers of blue-violet light originate from digital screens. If schoolwork, a job, or hobbies are exposing you to blue light, consult with your eye doctor on how to protect your eye health.  Specialized blue light blocking lenses and eyeglasses can offer you protection from dangerous blue light exposure. But they shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone approach. Reducing screen time, dimming your screen’s brightness, and working with a trained optometrist skilled in myopia assessment and prevention can offer you the best strategies for success.

Myopia Treatment and Prevention in Rockville with Visionary Eye Doctors

Myopia control, treatment, and prevention strategies can help slow the progression of myopia and in certain situations prevent it from occurring. A combination of approaches yields the best results and usually involve lifestyle changes, dual-focus contact lenses, Ortho-K corneal reshaping, and low dose atropine drops.

Decrease your household’s risk of worsening myopia by engaging the help of our board-certified optometrist at Visionary Eye Doctors in Rockville, MD. Dr. Hosseini is skilled at myopia treatment and prevention and possesses a chairside manner that is welcoming to both youth and adults alike.

Call Visionary Eye Doctors in Rockville, MD, to schedule a myopia evaluation and consultation for improved myopia management. Call us today at (301) 896-0890.

November Continuing Education Event

Updates in COVID-19 and the Eyes, Cataract, Pterygium, Cornea and Glaucoma

Thank you to all of our partner physicians that attended our event. Please find the recording and presentations below:

 

 

Dr. Martinez, Updates in Pterygium Surgery

 

Dr. Allen, Updates in Glaucoma

 

Dr. Cremers, Updates in COVID and the Eyes

 

Dr. Sarezky, Updates in Keratoconus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Getting an Eye Exam Your New Year’s Resolution

Woman in hoodie wearing glasses and playing with sparkler.

When New Year’s rolls around, most people make resolutions to focus on their health. This is a good idea, but you may be making the wrong resolution. If you’re focusing on losing weight or exercising more in the New Year, you may be overlooking a very important part of your health, and that is your vision. This year, in addition to the normal resolutions to get a little trimmer, consider making a resolution to protect your vision by scheduling a routine eye exam.

Screen for Diseases & Prevent Vision Loss

Why should you schedule a routine eye exam in the new year? An eye exam does much more than check your glasses prescription. It helps screen against disease and disorders that could put your vision and your overall health at risk.

One of these is glaucoma. Glaucoma has few symptoms in its early stages, but once it causes vision loss, the results are permanent. This is the second leading causing of blindness around the globe, and the best way to prevent it is to have your routine screening. If caught early, glaucoma’s effects can be reduced, helping to preserve your vision.

Though glaucoma is the most common problem that leads to vision loss, it is just one in a long list of potential diseases that could rob you of your vision. Many of these have few symptoms early on, and some can be treated if detected early. If you want to protect your vision, you need to start with your eye exam.

Protect Overall Health With Vision Screenings

Not only does your vision screening test for diseases that could cause you to lose your vision, but it also screens for vision problems that can be connected to other health problems, like hypertension and diabetes. Sometimes, the eye doctor is the first one to notice these problems, giving you the chance to get help from your medical doctor for these serious health concerns. By keeping your eye exam this year, you may get insight into things you can do to protect your overall health.

Schedule Your Eye Exam Today

If you want to schedule your eye exam for the new year, Visionary Eye Doctors is here to help. We offer eye exams to patients throughout Maryland and Washington, DC, DC. Our eye doctors are passionate about helping you protect your health, and this starts with routine eye exams.

Visit our Maryland or DC offices to have your eye exam. Schedule it now by calling (301) 896-0890. You can also contact us online for more information about our vision services. With the help of Visionary Eye Doctors, you can take the next step in protecting your vision, and your health, with routine eye examinations.

Preventing Dry Eyes in Winter

Portrait of cheerful mom with siblings. Noel morning gathering. Grey-haired cheerful grandparents, grandchildren, sister, brother, son, daughter, relatives at house feast, vacation

When you think of winter, what comes to mind? Snow? Holidays? If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from dry eye syndrome, then chances are you think of that itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable feeling that comes along with the dryness of winter. While dry eye syndrome can be a complex issue requiring a mixture of treatment options, there are still a few things you can do to combat dry and uncomfortable eyes this winter season.

Tips to Relieve Dry Eyes

Eye Drops

There are a number of over-the-counter eye drops you can utilize to keep your eyes from drying out this winter. From your run-of-the-mill artificial tears to overnight eye gel, the options are nearly endless. While it might take a little trial and error to find the eye drops that work for you, one kind we do suggest avoiding is redness eliminating. These eye drops work by temporarily constricting blood vessels, thus making your eyes appear whiter. These types of eye drops can just cause further irritation in your eyes.

Warm Compresses

This technique not only helps with dry eyes, but can also prove to be a good winding down activity at the end of a busy day! Simply dampen a washcloth with warm – not hot – water and rest it on your eyes before bed.

Humidifiers

If your eyes are already prone to dryness, having dry air in your home is only going to make this worse. Turn to your trusty humidifier to keep the air in your bedroom full of moisture during the night. Having moisture in the air will help prevent your eyes from drying out during the night and make opening your eyes in the morning a little easier.

Sunglasses

Besides the sun, sunglasses can help protect your eyes from other elements as well. Keep harsh temperatures and strong winds out of your eyes by wearing sunglasses outside during the winter. Keep a few pairs in various locations so that you’re always prepared.

Prescription Treatments

If all else fails, turn to your trusted eye care professional for prescription treatments that can help relieve your dry eye symptoms. Visionary Eye Doctors’ EyeDry Center of Excellence is specifically focused on helping patients find relief. We create multifaceted treatment plans that include both prescription treatments and at-home remedies.

This winter, don’t just suffer through dry eyes. Test out a few or all of the suggestions above to seek relief from dry, scratchy eyes. And, if you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our dry eye experts, give us a call at (301) 896-0890.

Happy 4th of July and what you need to know to keep you and your eyes safe!

Keep an eye out, firework-related eye injuries in the U.S. have doubled!

It’s almost the 4th of July and time to fire up the barbie, enjoy some cold drinks, and make sure your eyes are protected from the UV rays of the sun during the day and the fireworks that are sure to be part of your celebration that night.

While most of us love the fireworks with the bright lights, colorful sparks and huge sounds that go BOOM, please keep in mind that fireworks are still explosives. The statistics surrounding fireworks-related eye injuries are alarming. In 2017 alone, emergency rooms across the country treated an estimated 12,900 injuries from fireworks, and nearly 2000 of those were eye injuries. Over a third of these injuries were sustained by children under the age of 15, often because of sparklers or bottle rockets.

To help prevent these injuries, here are four myths about consumer fireworks risk:

  1. Small doesn’t equal safe. A common perpetrator of fireworks injuries is one that is often handed to small children — the popular sparkler. Many people mistakenly believe sparklers are harmless due to their size. However, they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt gold. Yes, melt gold!
  2. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. Injury and serious eye trauma can occur when people mistakenly think that a firework is no longer active or hot. Never touch unexploded fireworks and you may want to call your local fire or police department to properly handle it.
  3. Just because you’re not lighting or throwing it doesn’t mean you’re out of the firing line. An international study of fireworks-related eye injuries showed that nearly half of the people injured by fireworks are bystanders. The research also found that one in six of these injuries caused severe vision loss.
  4. The holiday can be complete without using consumer fireworks.  While legal in many states, they can be extremely dangerous and can cause significant injury, one of the more common injuries is to your eyes. Best to leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.

Please see the below safety tips for a safe and happy 4th:

  • Never let children play with any type of firework, including sparklers. They are the number one cause of fireworks injuries.
  • People who handle fireworks and all bystanders should wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket.  The friction could actually set them off, and that wouldn’t be pleasant.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby, just in case if lighting fireworks.
  • Keep an eye on your pets.  If your pooch isn’t cowering indoors, make sure he’s not in the line of fire either.
  • When viewing a professional firework display, view fireworks from at least 500 feet away and respect all safety barriers.

If you or a friend or family member experience a fireworks-related eye injury:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.
  • Do not remove any object from the eye, apply ointments or take any pain medication before seeking medical help.

We wish you a wonderful and safe 4th of July holiday! VED is closed on the 4th and will open again on July 5th with regular hours. We hope this information was helpful to you and If you need some fashionable sunglasses or safety glasses – you know where to find us. Happy 4th!