What is the comparison of PRK and LASIK?

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  LASIK  and PRK are two types of surgeries used to correct refractive eye defects, such as myopia, farsightedness and astigmatism.

The cornea is the outer transparent layer of the eye that concentrates light and makes you see objects clearly. In these two methods, lasers are used to deform the cornea, but the way the laser is used in these methods is slightly different.

In LASIK method, a thin flap (layer) is created in the cornea. In the PRK method, the outer layer of the cornea is removed, which grows again over time.

These two methods have advantages and disadvantages. Consult your ophthalmologist about which method is right for you.

LASIK Eye Surgery

How is PRK performed?

PRK surgery is performed at an outpatient surgery center. First, your eye doctor will use a drip to numb your eyes. It also places a special eyelid holder on your eye so that you don’t blink.  The surgeon removes the upper layer of the cornea using a blade, laser, brush or alcohol-based liquid, and then he or she will use the laser to reshape your cornea. Ittakes about 15 minutes for both eyes.

How does LASIK work?

LASIK surgery is performed at an ophthalmologist’s office or in an outpatient surgery center. First, your eye doctor will clean and numb you using a drop.

The surgeon places a device on your eye to prevent blinking. To keep your eyes fixed, he places a suction ring on your eye. You feel a bit of pressure and your vision gets dark for a short time.

The surgeon will then use a laser or a microchromatoma device to cut a thin flap in your cornea. He shapes your cornea using a laser and then puts the flap in place. Flap seams are closed after recovery.

LASIK surgery takes less than 30 minutes for both eyes.

Preoperative examinations, preparation for surgery

The ophthalmologist will examine your eyes before surgery and check your eyesight. It also measures your cornea and pupils.

You may want to stop using contact lenses from one day to a few weeks before surgery. Depending on the type of lens you use, your doctor will tell you when to stop using them.

Do not use eye makeup or eye cream on the day of surgery. Make sure there is a vehicle to get you home after the operation because you can’t drive yourself.

Side Effects

PRK: Your eyes will feel pain or itching for a few days. You may also see an aura around the lights at night. These problems do not last long if any.  An ophthalmologist will tell you how to manage these problems.

More serious side effects such as infection, blurred vision and corneal ulcers, or vision loss are extremely rare.

LASIK: You may feel pain, itching or burning in your eye, or your vision may be blurry for a few days. Other possible side effects that rarely occur include:

  • Glare and aura around light sources at night
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red spots in the eyes

There is very little chance that you will develop an eye infection or lose sight after LASIK, which is a very rare case.

Postoperative recovery

After PRK surgery, you will have a therapeutic contact lens in your eye. This lens protects your eyes and helps you heal it.

It is necessary to avoid heavy activity at least one week after PRK or LASIK surgery. Do not roll your eyes. This can damage your cornea. Wear sunglasses until your doctor’s instructions. Exposure to sunlight can scar your cornea and cause vision problems.

Recovery is faster after LASIK surgery.  Many people can have clear vision within a few hours, and having clear vision after a PRK operation can take a week or more.


Get an eye doctor’s appointment


LASIK and PRK are equally safe and both work well. Approximately 9 in 10 people who are treated with one of these methods achieve vision 20.20 or better after surgery and do not require glasses or lenses.