Both PRK and LASIK are used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in patients.

Despite there being more contemporary treatments for Laser Eye Surgery, the original treatment for vision correction of PRK, photorefractive keratectomy, still remains very popular with eye patients. Though both procedures involve reshaping the cornea with an excimer laser there are also distinctive differences between the two.

In order to allow light to be properly focused on the retina for clear vision, both the PRK and LASIK procedures involve making slight adjustments to the shape of the cornea. The LASIK procedure creates a hinged flap on the cornea which is then opened and the laser is directed directly underneath making slight adjustments to correct a person’s vision whereas the PRK involves the removal of the epithelial, which is the outer layer of the cornea and then the laser works on the exposed surface.

PRK involves removing all of the epithelial the entire thickness of the stromal tissue underneath is accessible for treatment. In comparison to the flap created in LASIK surgery, including both epithelial and deeper stromal tissue, a much smaller area is open to treatment with the excimer laser.

Due to the distinct difference between the two procedures, it naturally takes a patient a little longer to recover in the healing stages for PRK. There is also a higher risk of obtaining an eye infection as the eye is more open to the environment, plus haziness of vision is much more likely. Although LASIK patients experience less pain and they can recover in a shorter stretch of time when compared to the gradual healing from PRK, there are benefits to opting for the PRK procedure. As no flap is created with PRK, there is no risk of flap-related complications. Dry eyes have also been noted to be less common with PRK treatments.

Complications of damage dealt by the excimer laser are lower with the PRK procedure as there is a significantly lower chance of a doctor removing too much of the cornea, which, as a result, could leave permanent negative effects on the patient’s  vision.

Where LASIK patients can recover from a few days minimum it can take a couple of weeks for a PRK patient to regain proper vision. Due to the unlikely possibility of any complications with LASIK Laser Eye Surgery, the quicker recovery process is more desirable for most patients who may be eager to experience the world with clear vision without corrective lenses.

Though every health procedure can have possible complications the chances with errors in Laser Eye Surgery are slim. Possible side effects which are uncommon are sightings of halos around objects, dry eyes and some difficulty driving at night.

PRK and LASIK procedures deliver excellent results and have been successful on thousands of patients. Depending on preferences and advice from a doctor a patient may be more suited to one procedure more than the other, though the result remains the same with substantially improved vision for patients.