One procedure used to treat refractive errors is known as PRK, which stands for “photorefractive keratectomy.” Like other types of refractive surgery, the goal of PRK is to reshape the cornea so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye.
A numbing drop will be placed in your eye, the area around your eye will be cleaned, and an instrument called a lid speculum will be used to hold your eyelids open. Using one of several techniques, the central epithelium is removed. An excimer laser, which delivers a pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is then used to reshape the stroma. The procedure takes about 10 minutes for both eyes. In a relatively short time after the procedure, usually three to four days, the epithelium will heal over the exposed area.
PRK is highly accurate in correcting many cases of refractive error. It has been estimated that approximately 80% of patients have 20/20 vision without glasses or contact lenses one year after the surgery; 95 – 98% have 20/40 vision or better without glasses or contacts.