Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that causes the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, to thin and bulge. This can lead to blurred vision, distortion, and sensitivity to light. In severe cases, keratoconus can require a corneal transplant.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a type of laser eye surgery that can be used to treat keratoconus. During PRK, the surgeon removes the thin outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) and then uses a laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. This helps to improve the shape of the cornea and reduce the symptoms of keratoconus.
Benefits of PRK for Keratoconus
PRK can offer a number of benefits for people with keratoconus, including:
- Improved vision: PRK can significantly improve vision in people with keratoconus.
- Reduced need for corrective lenses: PRK can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.
- Improved quality of life: PRK can improve the quality of life for people with keratoconus by making it easier to see and perform everyday activities.
Risks and Side Effects of PRK
Like any surgery, PRK carries some risks and side effects. These may include:
- Dry eye: PRK can cause dry eye, which can be uncomfortable and may require treatment.
- Overcorrection or under-correction: PRK may not completely correct the refractive error, or it may overcorrect the error. This may require additional surgery.
- Corneal haze: PRK can cause corneal haze, which can blur vision. Haze usually resolves over time, but it may require treatment in some cases.
- Infection: PRK can increase the risk of infection, but this is rare.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRK?
PRK may be a good option for people with keratoconus who are:
- At least 18 years old
- In good overall health
- Have stable keratoconus
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of surgery
How to Prepare for PRK
In the weeks before PRK, you will need to avoid wearing contact lenses. You will also need to stop taking any medications that can thin the blood, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
PRK is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. On the day of surgery, you will receive eye drops to numb your eye. The surgeon will then use a special instrument to remove the epithelium. Next, the surgeon will use a laser to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes per eye.
After PRK, you will need to wear a bandage contact lens for a few days to protect your eye. You will also need to use eye drops to keep your eye moist and prevent infection. Most people experience some discomfort and blurred vision in the first few days after surgery. However, vision typically improves within a few weeks.
PRK at The Eye Foundation
The Eye Foundation is a leading provider of PRK surgery for keratoconus. Our experienced surgeons use the latest technology and techniques to provide our patients with the best possible results.
We offer a comprehensive range of services for people with keratoconus, including:
At The Eye Foundation, We are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care and helping them to achieve their best possible vision.
If you are interested in learning more about PRK for keratoconus, please contact The Eye Foundation today.