What to Expect After PRK Surgery?

While LASIK may be the biggest name in laser eye surgery, it is not the best option for many people. If you wear glasses or contact lenses and want to see better but have been told you should not have LASIK, PRK (LASEK) might be an excellent alternative. This procedure lets you achieve clearer vision even if you have conditions like thin corneas or chronic dry eye and should not have other types of laser vision correction. 

, What to Expect After PRK Surgery?, Vold Vision

What is PRK (LASEK)?

PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is an effective form of laser eye surgery used to treat farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. Its modern form is known as LASEK (laser-assisted epithelial keratomileusis) because it uses a laser to achieve more precise results, but the term PRK is also still common. Like LASIK, this procedure uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea, the clear light-focusing structure at the front of your eye. 

How Does PRK Surgery Work?

During PRK surgery, your eyes are numbed to prevent any discomfort. You may also receive a sedative if you feel especially anxious. During the procedure, your eye surgeon uses an alcohol solution to temporarily remove the outermost layer of the cornea (the epithelium). The laser reshapes the middle layers where light focusing occurs, and the epithelial layer is moved back into place. This method allows for faster recovery than traditional PRK procedures while still achieving your desired vision correction. 

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What to Expect After PRK Surgery

Because LASEK removes the corneal epithelium, it has a longer recovery time than other types of laser eye surgery. However, most people find the results more than worth it. You will receive detailed instructions to follow during healing. 


A temporary contact lens applied to the eye acts as a bandage when you leave your PRK surgery. People often experience light sensitivity, blurry vision, and irritation or burning. You will usually notice clearer vision within a few days, and most people can return to work and drive after four to five days. However, you may experience light sensitivity for several weeks. Avoid swimming, dusty environments, and smoke or air pollution for two weeks or until your eye surgeon clears you to return. 


Results will vary, but the majority of people experience significant vision improvements after PRK surgery. Many no longer need their glasses or contacts, although some may still need them for some activities. While you will notice major improvements within a few days, your vision will continue to adjust and stabilize for up a few months. While the changes made by the laser last a lifetime, you may benefit from a touch-up as needed to accommodate changes in your eyes as you age. You may also need an additional procedure in the future to address age-related changes such as cataracts. 

Am I a Good Candidate for PRK Surgery?

If you are considering laser eye surgery, your eye doctor will perform an examination and determine which type of procedure will work best for your needs and lifestyle. Good candidates should be 18 or older and have a stable prescription within the range that PRK can correct. 

PRK/LASEK may be recommended for you if you meet any of these criteria:

  • You have thin or abnormal corneas
  • You have chronic dry eye 
  • You engage in contact sports

Because LASIK creates a relatively large flap in the surface of the cornea, it leaves an edge that is less stable than your original corneal tissue. PRK allows the entire corneal surface to restore itself, which leads to a longer recovery time. However, it also means that people who engage in contact sports are not at risk of disrupting the flap. It also means that people whose corneas are not stable enough for a flap can still benefit from laser eye surgery. 

If you are not a candidate for any type of laser eye surgery, you still have options. Your eye surgeon can discuss other methods that allow you to achieve long-lasting, clearer vision. Your Vold Vision team offers a full range of services, including many forms of vision correction. 

Very clean place nice people the nurses are wonderful, and the eye doctor answers all questions and explains anything needed and it’s a very clean and safe place, I recommend this place by far.
Curtis B.

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You’ll benefit not only from the latest technologies available but also from our compassionate, personal approach. You’re more than a patient at Vold Vision in Bentonville and Fayetteville. We strive to make you as comfortable as possible while evaluating the optimal treatment plan just for you. We invite Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Springdale residents to contact us today for a consultation at (479) 755-4510.

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