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. At Maida Custom Vision, Dr. Jerry Maida performs PRK surgery on patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. Although it is not as well known than LASIK surgery, PRK is just as effective in improving vision and eliminating or reducing a patient’s need for corrective lenses. However, the procedure is associated with a longer recovery period. In this blog post, we explain what our Jacksonville patients should expect during the PRK recovery process, and how they can make the healing period more comfortable.
Healing Contact Lenses and PRK Surgery
Since the epithelium is completely removed during PRK surgery, Dr. Maida will place special contact lenses in the eyes immediately after surgery. These lenses act as a bandage during the five-day period in which the epithelial cells grow back after surgery. After this time has passed, patients can return to our office, and Dr. Maida will remove the special contact lenses.
Immediately after PRK Surgery
The greatest amount of discomfort is felt in the hours after surgery, once the numbing eye drops wear off. To limit discomfort, we recommend that patients take a nap for a few hours when they return home from surgery. Keeping the eyes closed prevents any pain that is caused by repeated blinking, and it also keeps the eyes well-lubricated. Since we typically have patients take anti-anxiety medication prior to surgery, most patients feel sleepy after surgery and have no difficulty falling asleep for a few hours.
Before you leave our office, we will provide you with protective eye wear, or goggles, to wear for the rest of the day and the first night after surgery. Wearing the goggles will prevent you from unconsciously rubbing your eyes during the first few hours of the critical healing period. Touching or itching the eyes can increase the risk of infection and affect the results of LASIK surgery.
When you come in for your surgical appointment, we will provide you with prescription antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops. It is important to use these eye drops as instructed the day of, and in the days following, surgery. These eye drops are intended to decrease the risk of infection and encourage healing.
Finally, if you experience discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol and use lubricating eye drops.
The Days and Weeks after PRK Surgery
Patients may experience some discomfort for a few days or up to a couple of weeks after surgery. Continue to use your prescription eye drops as instructed, and take pain medication and apply lubricating eye drops to improve your comfort.
Most patients experience improved vision within a couple of weeks. It is important to avoid driving for one to two weeks until your vision improves and stabilizes.
To reduce the risk of infection, patients should avoid touching the eyes and swimming for a few weeks after surgery. Patients should also stop wearing products around the eyes for a couple of weeks after surgery.
To learn more PRK recovery tips, contact Maida Custom Vision today.