LASIK or PRK? - Your Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Roxboro LASIK Surgeons

LASIK or PRK? - Your Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Roxboro LASIK Surgeons

When considering having laser vision correction surgery, you may find yourself having to choose between LASIK and PRK.

What’s the difference between the two procedures, and which one is better suited for you?

The answer may depend on your eyes and your vision.

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First of all, both LASIK and PRK are performed to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.

PRK was the first kind of laser eye surgery for vision correction in America, being performed first in 1995, four years before the advent of LASIK (1999 FDA-approved).  Yet, PRK is still regularly performed for certain eye conditions.

LASIK and PRK for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism

Both LASIK and PRK improve vision by reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser, resulting in light entering the eye to be more accurately focused onto the retina.LASIK or PRK? Which for your eyes?

One of the major differences between LASIK and PRK is that for LASIK a hinged flap is created on the surface layer of the cornea, and then the excimer laser is applied to the deeper layer of the cornea, where the vision correction occurs.  But in the PRK procedure, the excimer laser is applied directly to the surface of the cornea, also affecting the deeper layer simultaneously.

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Where LASIK and PRK are comparable is in the ultimate result of the patient’s corrected vision.  LASIK patients’ vision stabilizes relatively soon after the procedure, whereas with PRK, patients’ vision improves gradually, over a significantly longer period of time.

Surgery recovery time is longer with PRK, and there is also a slightly increased risk of eye infection and haziness of vision in the first few days after the procedure.  With LASIK, patients generally experience less discomfort.

PRK may be recommended, however, if the patient’s cornea is too thin for the flap creation required for LASIK. 

Visit North Carolina Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat for Chapel Hill LASIK information!