One extreme consequence of having PRK is the longer recovery time that may extend for many weeks and even months after the surgery has concluded. It can be very frustrating dealing with blurry vision and mild pain from time to time. Since different people have had different recovery timelines, it is important to remember that the timing is extremely variable.
What may recover in just a few weeks may take as much as six months as the worst case scenario. So what is the PRK recovery timeline in general? Let’s find out.
Stages of Recovery
Stage 1 – After the procedure has been done, the vision surprisingly clears up within minutes and provides a better view than LASIK.
Stage 2 – This stage comes from 30 to 60 minutes after the surgery as the patient begins to experience the effects of numbering drops started to wear off. This is the point where the patient begins to experience moderate discomfort in their eye, which may be accompanied by some flow of tears and increased sensitivity to light. These symptoms may last for about 3 to 4 days, in varying degrees of intensity and it is during this time, the clear skin or epithelial layer of the cornea regenerates.
The discomfort can be alleviated to some degree by using eye drops that work towards numbing the eye and stopping the tears. Vision at this stage of the recovery is better than how was before the surgery, but it is still blurry enough not to consider as perfect eyesight.
Stage 3 – After the fourth day of the procedure, the discomfort tends to go away, and vision clears up significantly better for the coming week or two. Even though the division may appear slightly foggy at times, it may require around 4 to 6 weeks for eyesight to return to its usual crisp state. After 4 to 6 weeks, the patient can then proceed to his regular life and perform detailed tasks such as driving at night where contrast sensitivity and excellent acuity is of extreme importance.
Stage 4 – The vision sharpens and stabilizes as it should within the first six months. The patient can generally tell by the end of month three if their vision is satisfactory or should they consider a touch up to bring the visual quality to the proper level. It is very important that the patient protects their eyes from UV light by wearing good sunglasses and do not partake in any activity that may cause damage to the eye organs.
Important Thing to Remember
Whenever you are going for PRK, be sure to conduct a thorough research about the clinics in your area and the expertise of the doctors who are going to conduct the surgery. Most importantly, if you decide to go for PRK over LASIK, be mentally prepared to deal with the possibility of dealing with a longer recovery time that may even stretch till 9 to 12 months in the worst case scenario. This procedure is one of the best ways to correct visual impairment and is quickly becoming popular around the world.