Am I A Candidate?
PRK and LASIK both use the excimer laser to reshape the cornea to eliminate the need for glasses and/or contact lenses. Some people may prefer PRK due to lifestyle or occupational factors.
SMILE uses the femtosecond VisuMax laser to reshape the cornea without creating a LASIK flap.
Patients over the age of 44 will likely need to wear glasses for reading, fine hobbies such as sewing, or close activities like putting on make-up.
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) can correct refractive error even if you are not a good candidate for other forms of laser surgery. Because there are no incisions and no corneal flap, the procedure is available to more people and poses less risk of complication. Our professional, highly trained PRK team will explain which refractive surgery is best suited to your vision needs.
There are some basic requirements that all refractive surgery candidates should meet including:
- Eyes should be fully developed (typically 18 years old or older)
- You should have stable vision for at least one year prior to surgery
- You understand the risks involved with PRK surgery and have realistic expectations
- Refractive surgery is not appropriate if you are pregnant or nursing. Hormonal changes can change refractive error, minimizing or reversing the effectiveness of the surgery. Also, if you have a family history of keratoconus you may not be a good candidate for corneal refractive surgery.
PRK when you cannot have LASIK or SMILE
There are many circumstances that can make LASIK or SMILE inappropriate but are fine for PRK. PRK does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, making it a safer option for some people including those who have:
- Thin corneas
- Corneal dystrophy
- Recurrent corneal erosion
- Corneal scars from trauma or infection
Eye conditions such as glaucoma are sometimes discovered during the refractive examination and consultation. After doing a thorough dilated eye examination, Dr. Anderson Penno will explain whether or not she has identified any eye conditions as well as what procedure is recommended for your individual case. If an eye condition is found that disqualifies you from surgery, Dr. Anderson Penno will explain why surgery may not be an option and what further steps may be taken.
Lifestyle and occupation
PRK may be the preferred choice for people whose occupations or lifestyle choices do not allow for safe LASIK or SMILE including:
- Anyone who engages in contact sports
- Police officers
- Military personnel