Patients with vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism have several options when it comes to restoring clear vision. LASIK is one of the most effective treatments available. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. If you find that you are not a good fit for LASIK, Dr. Richard Foulkes may recommend an alternative treatment that will more effectively address your unique needs.
One of the most common LASIK alternatives is PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). This procedure can be performed to address the same refractive vision errors as LASIK, making it an excellent option if Dr. Foulkes determines you’re not a good LASIK candidate.
The best way to find out whether PRK is the right refractive surgery solution for you is to speak with Dr. Foulkes in person. During your free consultation, he will perform a comprehensive eye evaluation in order to recommend the most effective treatment plan to restore clear vision.
Please contact Foulkes Vision using the form on this page or call 630-724-1400 today to schedule your free consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Lombard and the surrounding areas of Illinois.
LASIK vs. PRK
LASIK and PRK are both performed to correct refractive vision errors such as:
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Farsightedness (hyperopia)
While these procedures both use an excimer laser to reshape your cornea, they require different methods to access the underlying corneal tissue:
- During LASIK, Dr. Foulkes uses state-of-the-art laser technology to create a flap in your cornea
- During PRK, the surface layer of your eye is removed so that Dr. Foulkes can reshape the cornea
As you recover from PRK, this surface layer, called the epithelium, will heal completely. However, due to the removal of this layer, you will experience a longer recovery time after PRK than with LASIK.
Am I a PRK Candidate?
In general, you may be a good candidate for PRK if you:
- Are over the age of 18
- Have a stable vision prescription for at least one year
- Have healthy eyes
This procedure is often an excellent option if your cornea isn’t thick enough to accommodate the creation of a flap. In addition, you may be better suited to PRK than LASIK if you have corneal scars.
Your PRK Procedure
Dr. Foulkes performs PRK as an outpatient procedure. Prior to treatment, he will apply anesthetic eye drops to minimize discomfort. A laser is used to remove the epithelium layer of your eye, and then your cornea will be reshaped to correct any refractive vision errors you experience.
You may experience blurry vision following PRK, but this symptom will gradually subside as your eyes heal over the next few days. You should be able to resume routine daily activities within 1-3 days, but you will need to refrain from contact sports and other activities that can potentially damage your eyes until you are fully healed.
In general, you may have to wait a little longer to experience your final results after PRK than you will after LASIK. However, you will most likely find that it will be well worth the wait. Over 95% of PRK patients are able to see clearly without glasses within three months of completing their procedure.
Contact our Chicago Ophthalmologist
Please contact Foulkes Vision using the form on this page or call 630-724-1400 today to schedule your free PRK consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Lombard and the surrounding areas of Illinois.