Astigmatism is a common vision condition that often occurs when the cornea, the front surface of the eye, has an irregular shape. This irregularity can cause light to focus on multiple points in the eye, causing blurred or distorted vision. Procedures such as PRK, can offer a clearer perspective for those with astigmatism.
Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, is a type of refractive eye surgery designed to correct vision problems such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. PRK is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of vision conditions.
PRK differs from other types of laser eye surgery, such as LASIK, in that no flap is created in the cornea during the procedure. Instead, the epithelium is completely removed and then naturally regrows after surgery. This lack of a corneal flap can make PRK a more suitable option for certain patients, such as those with thin corneas.
PRK corrects astigmatism by reshaping the cornea to make it more spherical, which allows light to focus correctly on the retina. The surgeon uses a computer to guide the excimer laser as it removes a precise amount of tissue from specific areas of the cornea. The goal is to create a more uniform surface that corrects the way light enters the eye.
Before the procedure, the patient's eyes are numbed with topical anesthetic drops. The surgeon then removes the epithelial layer of the cornea. This can be done either mechanically with a brush or chemically using an alcohol solution. Once the epithelium is removed, the surgeon applies the laser to the exposed corneal tissue.
By selectively removing tissue, the surgeon can create a more symmetrical corneal shape, correcting the refractive error that causes astigmatism. After the laser application, a soft contact lens is placed on the eye to act as a bandage while the epithelium regrows.
PRK offers several benefits for patients with astigmatism. First, it can significantly improve vision. Many patients find that they no longer need to rely on glasses or contact lenses after having PRK surgery. This can offer a newfound sense of freedom and can greatly improve quality of life.
Another benefit of PRK is its safety. The procedure has been performed for decades and has a proven track record. Because PRK doesn't involve creating a corneal flap, like in LASIK, there is less risk of certain complications, such as corneal flap problems.
Finally, PRK is a good option for people who have been told they're not suitable candidates for other forms of laser eye surgery. Because the procedure doesn't require a certain corneal thickness, as LASIK does, it's often an option for people with thin corneas or dry eyes.
Determining if PRK is the right choice for your astigmatism depends on a number of factors. These include the severity of your astigmatism, your overall eye health, and your personal lifestyle and preferences. It's important to thoroughly discuss this option with your eye doctor to determine if PRK is right for you.
PRK offers a clearer perspective for those with astigmatism. With its proven safety record and significant benefits, PRK could be a transformative option for those seeking to correct their astigmatism.
For more information on PRK for astigmatism, visit Laser Vision Delaware in our Wilmington, Delaware office. Please call (302) 515-0700 to schedule an appointment today.