While both PRK and LASIK work by reshaping the cornea to correct vision problems, PRK involves removing the outer layer of the cornea, while LASIK requires only a small incision to create a flap of corneal tissue. Both procedures have advantages and disadvantages, according to Health Care Marketing Services.
Both LASIK, or laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis, and PRK, or photo refractive keratectomy, can be used to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, notes Health Care Marketing Services. PRK is an older procedure and generally requires a longer recovery time than LASIK. PRK patients must take prescription eye drops for several months after the surgery to promote healing and reduce discomfort, and may need to wait up to six months for vision to reach peak acuity and clarity. LASIK patients often report seeing normally just a few hours after the procedure, and their vision continues to improve for several months.
As of 2015, PRK is still performed and is preferred for certain patients, such as those with thin corneas or dry eyes. Both surgeries are generally safe and effective but have potential side effects, such as permanent dry eye; halos, glare or double vision; night vision problems; over- or under-correction of vision; markedly reduced vision; and loss of vision, explains WebMD. Make a decision between the two with the help of a trained eye doctor.