What\'s the Difference Between PRK and LASIK?

What's the Difference Between PRK and LASIK?

Created on: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Author: Chesen Laser Eye Center

What's the difference between PRK and LASIK anyway?

If you want to enjoy your life with amazing vision, but don’t want all of the problems that come with having to deal with glasses or contacts, LASIK can be an amazing solution. It gives you the chance to experience absolute visual freedom for the rest of your life. However, LASIK is not the right choice for everybody. There are many different “qualifications” you must meet in order to be eligible for the surgery. One of these qualifications is how thick your cornea is. In order to understand the importance of this, it’s imperative that you understand how LASIK works.

 

LASIK Explained

Your eye detects and interprets images in the same way a camera does. Light passes through your cornea and then your lens where it is focused on your retina. Think of the retina like a sensor of sorts that reads the light and turns it into information that is then sent to your brain through the optic nerve. The part that LASIK is concerned with, however, is exclusively the cornea, which does most of the focusing of the light. When a cornea is misshapen, the light does not bend properly and does not hit the retina in the right way, resulting in a blurry image. LASIK fixes this by physically altering the shape of the cornea. 

 
The cornea has several distinct layers, but the most important in regards to LASIK and PRK are the epithelium, which is the top layer, and the stroma, which is the largest layer. To change the shape of the cornea correctly, the surgeon has to access the stroma to remove the precise amount of tissue in specific spots. To get to this area, a small hinged opening is created in the epithelium that can be closed at the end of the surgery. This is all done using advanced computer technology and powerful lasers to ensure a clean and accurate procedure.

 

What PRK Does Differently

 
The important thing that is different with PRK as opposed to LASIK is that instead of a hinged flap being created in the epithelium, the tissue is simply removed. This section grows back within just a few days, though recovery can take longer in general because of it. So why choose PRK?
 
PRK is specifically designed as an option for people whose corneas are too thin to perform LASIK on, though it was actually developed before LASIK. A cornea that is insufficiently thick will be much more prone to injury post-surgery. While the recovery time may take slightly longer than LASIK, PRK is just as safe and effective. PRK can also be done on patients with chronic dry eye, another disqualifying factor for LASIK. Whether you get PRK or LASIK, you’ll be able to go through life with clearer vision!
 
 
To know exactly what you need in order to qualify for LASIK or PRK, contact us today to set up a screening. It could be your first step on one of the most important vision journeys of your life!     


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