PRK Eye Surgerysbaircraft
I wore glasses for most of my life, and I didn’t mind them most of the time. However, the anti-glare coating started to flake off of the lenses during a winter climb, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation; I had to build anchors and downclimb with blurry vision! That’s when I decided to finally get my eyeballs corrected.
PRK vs LASIK – Most people opt for LASIK, which has the benefit of a faster recovery time. During LASIK, the surgeon peels back a small flap before reshaping the cornea with a laser. The flap provides immediate protection for the cornea, allowing it to heel faster, and with reduced risk of infection. Most LASIK patients can return to work in a couple of days! However, the flap can become dislodged, or complicate eye injuries later in life. For this reason, some athletes, such as boxers, may choose PRK instead of LASIK. PRK is very similar to LASIK, except there is no flap; the surgeon shapes the outer surface of the cornea, and the results are more durable.
PRK also has some advantages for individuals with thin corneas or dry eyes. Nerves at the surface of the cornea help signal tear production when the eyes become dry. Since PRK surgery doesn’t extend as deep into the cornea, there is less damage to these nerves. Since I have a history of dry eyes, this was another point in favor of PRK.
Finding a Surgeon
Consultations are generally free and I took the time to visit three different surgeons. During one appointment, the surgeon didn’t even take the time to speak with me, and the assistants were unable to answer all of my questions. During another consultation, the surgeon met with me, but only very briefly. During the third consultation, the surgeon took the time to answer all of my questions in detail. The choice was obvious!
Surgery was fast! They gave me some meds to help me relax, and they were done in no time. A friend drove me home, and I went to sleep.
Recovery was slower than I was expecting. I didn’t feel comfortable driving for around a week, and it took several months for my vision to stabilize.