PRK Pre-surgery

I’ve been interested in corrective eye surgery for as long as it’s been around, but also a little apprehensive. At this point it feels like the procedures have been practiced for a long enough time, and there are so many success stories out there, that I decided to look into it seriously.

Why?

Because contact lens solution won’t be available in the zombie apocalypse.

When?

I have an appointment for extreme dilation (not sure if they really called it that) next week. They’ll dilate my eyes and do lots of measurements and whatnot. Eyes stay dilated for 24+ hours (eek!). The procedure is scheduled for a few days later.

Where?

Woolfson Eye Institute in Asheville, NC. I’ve been asking around for years now, and everyone says Dr. Woolfson is the best.

PRK versus LASIK

I initially scheduled a consultation for LASIK, but was told I’m not a good candidate as my corneal tissue is too thin. I’d read as much online, that many years of hard contact lens wear can affect suitability for LASIK. The good news is that PRK is considered slightly better in terms of complications and long-term stability. The bad news? Compared to recovery from LASIK, recovery from PRK is the pits.  There’s significant pain for the first few days even up to a week or so, and it can take several weeks or longer to fully heal and to get to clear, fully-corrected vision.

Prep

I’ve started supplementing with Vitamin C and Cod Liver Oil, which are supposed to help with healing. I’ve also set up a reading list on GoodReads and will sign up for a month on AudioBooks.com. For $24.95 I can listen to as many audiobooks as I’d like while I’m recovering.

2 thoughts on “PRK Pre-surgery

  1. Hi Deborah, I’m interested in having PRK, my twin sister had it done a year ago and says it’s changed her life. I will be in Ashville this fall and was looking into facilities that did the surgery and stumbled upon your blog, which thank you so much for writing, it’s really good to hear a real persons perspective of the entire procedure. I Just have a few questions if you don’t mind me asking. First, what age range are you? My sister could almost see perfectly a day after the surgery and also did not have too much pain the following few days, she attributed it partly to age, which we are in our late 20’s. Second, how long did it take for you to see without corrective glasses? What is your vision like now? If you could either post here or send me an email I would GREATLY appreciate it, I have to to all the research I can before committing this, and would love to hear your point of view. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Caitlin, thanks for your comment. I’m 39 so I’m on the cusp of a demographic that is more likely to have a harder recovery (women over 40). I also was being corrected from about -8 which is pretty substantial. I didn’t have any other risk factors though — I have normal blood pressure and am not overweight, don’t have any other chronic conditions.

      I could see “better” (like a clock across the room) immediately after the surgery but over the next couple of days there was a lot of blurriness. For the next few weeks I got to about 20/50 and stayed there a while which was a bit tough. I was a little nervous with driving and I had a hard time focusing on a computer screen to do my job at the level I was used to. At around 6 weeks though I’d improved to about 20/30 and both driving and working were much more comfortable. At my 4-month checkup my vision was 20/25 in both eyes.

      My doctor said the delay in healing was likely due to having a very severe pollen load in our area at the time following my surgery. A lot of other patients were having problems with dryness/irritation. I also traveled to a high-altitude, very dry area for ten days not long after the procedure, which I think also affected healing.

      I am really glad now that I did it! Good luck to you and I hope it goes well!

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