Congratulations, you’ve finally decided to stop relying on eyeglasses and contact lenses for your vision correction needs. With laser eye surgery, you can discover a more permanent solution to improved vision, without having to deal with dry eyes all day, and problems putting your contact lenses in first thing when you wake up.
PRK is one of the more common forms of laser eye surgery, designed to help people who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Laser eye surgery with PRK has helped millions of people to overcome issues with their vision by reshaping their cornea and helping them to better direct the light around their eyes. This form of laser vision correction typically works best if you have mild to moderate vision concerns.
During PRK surgery, your surgeon will use a cool beam of light on the surface of the cornea to reshape your eye. If you think that PRK eye surgery might be the right option for you, there’s a good chance you’ll want to learn more about the procedure. More specifically, you’ll want a basic PRK recovery timeline that you can use to determine when your sight will begin to improve.
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Your PRK Recovery Timeline
There are many different types of laser eye surgery available to help people who suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. While these surgeries differ in a number of unique ways, the biggest issue that most patients worry about is how long it will take for them to recover from each procedure. Your PRK recovery timeline is likely to be a little longer than LASIK, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be waiting months to see any results.
PRK recovery takes slightly longer than Lasik and some other procedures because of the way that the surgery is performed. With PRK, the surgeon removes the outer skin of the cornea entirely, rather than simply creating a small flap. Still, even with the full removal of the corneal tissue, you should begin to see a difference quite quickly. Here’s what a basic PRK recovery timeline might look like.
During the first few days after your treatment, you will be in the early stages of recovery. The healing process will have just begun, and how well you respond now will have a big impact on the rest of your recovery. There’s a good chance that you’ll experience a few minor side effects, like minor pain and itchiness. Importantly, if you do notice any discomfort, you will have to avoid rubbing your eyes, as this will make it harder for you to heal. Make sure that you follow the instructions given to you by your doctor, and use your medicated eye drops as directed. Your eye surgeon will also follow up with you soon after your procedure to make sure that your healing is working.
A week or two after your procedure, you’ll start to notice some additional side effects, such as sensitivity to light, poor vision at night, and the occasional halo around sources of light. The first month or so is also when most people in the PRK recovery timeline begin to notice the biggest changes in her vision. In the weeks and months after your procedure, your doctor will check up on your recovery through a series of appointments.
After about six months, you’ll notice that any lasting issues with your vision, such as dry eyes or itchiness, begin to disappear. There’s a chance that your doctor will still what to see you during this time, but it may just be to check that you’re happy with your results.
Expecting Realistic Results with PRK
Importantly, after your PRK surgery is complete, most patients should expect some minor discomfort, as it will take time for your eyes to heal. There is some soreness associated with most kinds of surgery, but most patients find the pain very tolerable, and you can manage any discomfort you feel with over-the-counter pain medication.
There are ways that you can improve your chances of a successful treatment too. For the first day after your treatment, it’s important to avoid anything that might strain your eyes or make it harder for them to heal. This usually means that you should stay away from watching movies or using your computer for the first day.
You’ll also need to wear your eye shields according to the directions given by your doctor. PRK surgery patients are typically given eye shields to use after their surgery that will protect them against rubbing their eyes- particularly during the night when you’re sleeping, and you may not be aware of your actions. Make sure that you wear your eye shields according to the orders given by your eye surgeon, and use your medicated eye drops too.
Just as your shields will help to protect you from damaging your eyes accidentally, the eye drops that your doctor prescribes to you could help to prevent infection and improve your chances of proper healing. Your medicated drops will keep you from feeling too uncomfortable because of dryness and itching too.
Improving your PRK Recovery Timeline
To help ensure that you get the most out of your PRK recovery timeline, it’s a good idea to protect your eyes wherever you can.
For instance, you might want to wear sunglasses outdoors, even if it’s not particularly sunny, to protect your eyes from glare and wind.
You can also consider carrying artificial tears with you wherever you go so that you can avoid moments of irritation and discomfort. If you have dry eyes, you can use your liquid tears instead of rubbing at your eyes, which will help to prevent any damage to your healing process.
Finally, to ensure that your PRK recovery timeline goes according to plan, make sure that you keep the appointments that you make with your doctor following your procedure. Your surgeon will want to make sure that your healing process is going smoothly, and the only way that they can do this is to speak to you and see your eyes for themselves.