PRK Recovery — What to Expect

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Will of Will Vision and Laser Centers offers PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), a laser eye surgery that gives patients clear near and distance vision by correcting common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. As a predecessor to LASIK surgery, PRK has been used for over 25 years as a vision correction procedure and is often recommended as an alternative procedure for patients who aren’t considered good LASIK candidates. If you are having PRK surgery, you may be wondering what the recovery period will be like. Read on to learn more about how you can prepare for, and what to expect during, PRK recovery.

What to Expect the First Few Days

It is common to experience symptoms like red, itching, swollen eyes, along with discomfort, for the first few days after surgery. Light sensitivity, which presents itself as seeing halos and glare from bright lights, is also common during this time. Patients should avoid driving for the first few days after PRK. It is also important to rest as much as possible during this time so that your eyes can heal. Prescription medication can be used to manage discomfort, and patients should avoid rubbing, scratching or getting water in the eyes. Avoid going outdoors or wear sun protection (such as UV sunglasses and a hat) to protect your eyes. Artificial tears can also help quell discomfort caused by dry eye, another common occurrence after eye surgery.

What to Expect after the First Week

By the one-week mark after PRK surgery, patients typically don’t experience any more discomfort. The protective contact lens that is placed at the end of the procedure will be removed by your doctor around this time, though you will still need to be mindful of protecting your eyes from the sun during the day. You may still experience blurred or hazy vision for the first few weeks after having PRK, though most PRK patients have good enough vision (20/40 or better) to return to driving, working and other normal daily activities after the first week. Night driving, however, may still pose a challenge for the first few weeks due to light sensitivity, and therefore should be avoided until you get clearance from your eye doctor.

Schedule Your PRK Surgery Today

To learn more about PRK surgery, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Will, contact our office by calling (877) 542-EYES (3937).