Home > eyes > PRK – 5 Years Later

PRK – 5 Years Later

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today marks the fifth anniversary of having the outer layers of my eyes melted away, then zapped by lasers, only to heal again over the next three months into near perfect vision. Five years ago, I had PRK surgery and blogged about my experience.

It’s funny how you forget about all the little things you had to worry about before the surgery. The daily rituals of inserting and removing and cleaning contacts, the additional pain and effort involved when having a foreign object in your eye next to your contact, the way you couldn’t read the alarm clock at night without squinting or moving extra close, the way you were screwed if you lost a contact while skiing or after getting punched in the face at the boxing gym; I haven’t had to think about those things in years.

I haven’t been to the eye doctor since those last routine checkups in the months following the PRK surgery. At the time, my left eye was 20/20 and my right eye was slightly worse. This still holds true today, though if I really think about it and compare, it does seem like the right eye is worse now than it was back then. I haven’t done a vision test and I don’t plan on it; it just feels a little fuzzy and sometimes, only rarely, does it creep into my consciousness.

I have never had any problems with dry eyes. The halos slowly diminished over the months after the surgery. While I don’t think those halos are completely gone, they are very minimal and non-intrusive. I can look up at the stars at night without being bothered by, or even thinking about halos. That was one of the things that scared me most in the first year after my surgery – in the months following the operation, the night sky was a smudgy mess and the individual pinpricks of light were now splattered across my field of view, as if I was looking through a smudgy and wet windshield. No amount of blinking would make the stars clearer, but over time, the halos and smudginess diminished to the point of forgetfulness, and I could once again appreciate the night sky without being burdened by the thought that it might be forever skewed.

When I opted for PRK instead of LASIK, it was because I was in kickboxing and MMA and I dreaded the idea of getting the corneal flap left by LASIK torn off during a bout. It’s funny though – during my healing time, I happened to read a book called The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks and realized that I was probably lucky not to have suffered any long term mental problems from getting routinely pummeled in the head during training and fights, and I should probably quit while I was ahead. That book discussed extreme cases of a variety of brain problems – not necessarily impact related – but it made me a lot more conscious about my own gray matter, and I realized I should probably try to save what I have left. Thus, I closed the chapter on my fighting life. Now I’m just a lover.

I’m very happy that I had the surgery. While I think my right eye may have degraded in visual acuity somewhat, it isn’t something that’s noticeable until I focus on it. And even then, perhaps it hasn’t even changed. I love being able to wake up with full sight, to see underwater, and to not be encumbered by glasses or contacts. I know the experience hasn’t been great for everyone, as evidenced by the large numbers of comments on this blog. It worked for me.

If I were to ever recommend PRK, I’d make sure to highlight a few things:

  1. Do your research. Learn about the procedure, the risks and complications, and the healing process. There are plenty of blogs like mine which describe the experience of different people. I was a patient for whom everything turned out just right. There are also a number of horror stories. Know your risks.
  2. Go to a few clinics and compare the doctors. Review them online. Make sure you trust them with one of your most important senses.
  3. Be persistent with your doctor. Have them explain the healing time and possible complications in detail. If they wave off complications or try to bully you into doing the procedure even though you’re not a perfect candidate, run.
  4. Be prepared for at least a month of barely being able to read text directly in front of your face, and for at least a three month time of very bad vision
  5. Try not to despair. It’s a long healing process and you’ll likely spend the first week of it incapacitated and blind, and in a good amount of pain. The next few months can be agonizing, but if all goes well, you’ll hopefully be in love with your new eyesight and in retrospect, you’ll realize it was all worth it.

In reading a lot of the comments posted here, it seems like there are a good number of fast-food style surgeons who care more about the number of people herded through the zappy laser machine than they care about them as individuals with a life to maintain. Perhaps it’s just a sample bias, in that those are the types of people more likely to complain. Regardless, be on the lookout for any McSurgeons who try to casually dismiss the healing process or the dangers inherent in so delicate a procedure.

I can’t stress that enough. If the surgeon downplays the healing time or the risks, or if they don’t dissuade you from the surgery after telling you you’re not an ideal candidate, avoid it at all costs. There are a lot of people out there for whom this procedure will work fine, but there are a number of people who can be permanently devastated by either a botched surgery, a botched recovery time, or because they were a more “risky” candidate. If you have consistently dry eyes or thin corneas, you don’t make a good candidate and it’s just something you’re going to have to accept, because the alternative of having screwed up eyesight permanently is much more depressing than having to put in contacts or wear glasses everyday.

In all, do your research and know the risks.

I’ve been extremely happy with my results, and I wish the same to anyone looking to improve their quality of life in this aspect. Good luck on your journey, and thanks for stopping by.

Categories: eyes
  1. Zarina
    November 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Dear Chad,

    This is just to thank you for your posts about your surgery. I’ve had my PRK barely three weeks ago (OMG, seems like three month…) and I found your blog while surfing the Internet for feedback on this type of surgery. Yes, you are absolutely right, there are a plenty of blogs describing the process and the after-process, but I would put yours as number one in my personal rating :)) You helped me a lot and you have answered my questions. So here you have some “special thanks” directly from Madrid, Spain :))

    Oh, and Congratulations for future daddy! :))

    P.S. I have mentioned your blog in my blog when I was describing my experience. Hope you don’t mind..

  2. jay reddy
    December 3, 2012 at 1:11 am

    tanx going for prk on wednesday.a useful message actually. have a nice time.

  3. December 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Just wanted to say thanks for your excellent account of your PRK experience. I had PRK just over a week ago and read your blog and others beforehand. It was very helpful to know what to expect. I’m already really happy with my results and am so glad I did it!

  4. DEVA
    December 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    im glad u wrote about the smudginess and blurriness of things even a yr after ur op, its been almost a year for me and after 20 minutes of computer time its like every gets a bit blurry where it gives me headaches.. i hope this goes away i already suffer from migraines as it is. i even specifically looked for jobs that deal with as little computer time as possible.

  5. Cathy
    December 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it has helped so much during my own PRK experience. I had my procedure 2 weeks ago and am constantly reminding myself to be patient with the healing process. I must be one of the few out there who has had such a trouble free time. I chose my surgeon carefully, travelling a long way and spending more money but it was worth it. I had no pain whatsoever and my healing is going very well. I couldn’t have hoped for better. My vision isn’t perfect yet, but I’m getting glimpses of what it will be when I’ve finished healing and I’m excited for that. I’m currently at 20/20 in one eye and 20/30 in the other (I started with -9.00 in my right eye and -7.50 in my left). I still have a bit of ghosting occasionally and my vision does still fluctuate a bit. Overall, I would have to say I’m thrilled. Again, thanks for sharing, your experience has been very encouraging and helpful, I’m glad I found your blog.

    • shawna
      January 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Cathy, I’m curious… did you have both eyes done on the same day? My clinic wants me to do them 2 weeks apart because of the severity of my vision (-10.5).

      • January 10, 2013 at 1:37 am

        I was -10 in each eye and I had them done together. I don’t think I would have liked having double the healing time and my doctor never mentioned splitting them up. The pain and discomfort is pretty intense. Unfortunately, I’m 6 months post PRK and I’m going under the knife, so to speak, tomorrow to correct some residual astigmatism (only about a diopter). 😦 I’m glad I know what to expect but I’m not looking forward to the long recovery. However, being glasses and contacts free is amazing!

      • Jules
        August 24, 2013 at 2:10 am

        Shawna, if you have your PRKs done 2-weeks apart, will you use a contact in one eye during those two weeks so you can still see out of one eye? Or do you need to refrain from contacts for the time leading up to the 2nd surgery?

    • Radhika
      May 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

      For everyone who has got PRKs done here, please could you let me know what was your cornea thickness around? Mine is around 470Um, I have a power of -6 on both he eyes. I am not a good candidate for lasik, but I want to consider if PRK would suit me.

  6. Sapphyria
    January 3, 2013 at 5:09 am

    I just wanted to leave a thank you for your posts on PRK and especially they day by day. My husband had PRK done a week ago and was totally lost on the healing process since the doctor determined last minute that Lasik wasn’t going to work and PRK was the better method. I’ve ended up reading your blog to him day by day and while we’ve found other resources and the doc rise to the occasion when asked, we keep coming back to your blog. So again, thank you. Your posts were real, comforting and accessible without being preachy. Two other things: You do write very well (despite what you claim in “about”) and congratulations on becoming a father (last post of 2012).

  7. Vivek
    January 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Chad, thanks for taking the time to chronicle your recovery from PRK. My wife is into her second week of recovery and I was not prepared for the long recovery time going in. I agree that it is my bad for not doing my research upfront. However, your blog has put me at ease and made me a more patient chauffeur as I shuttle her back and forth from work and help her read long emails amongst managing other chores around the house.

    Your posts are extremely well written. They are both detailed and articulate with an injection of humor just when we need it. This blog goes beyond just journaling your recovery in that it helps other PRK patients stay hopeful without panicking knowing that patience pays. Thanks again!

  8. ange
    January 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I had my PRK on Wednesday and today is Sunday. I am almost in tears I have blurry vision and hate it. My loving husband reminds me every day to think about the long term out come. Right now I am just so frustrated. I miss my 20/15

    • Zarina
      January 28, 2013 at 6:37 am

      Hi Ange!
      You are barely 5 days away from your surgery. Cheer up! Although it seems like a very simple surgery (no blood, no scars), in fact it is not. Find some PRK surgery on YouTube, you’ll see how much tissue they cut off. Your vision will get better, just give it some time. And please note that when you cry, you irritate your eyes. No good for recovery 🙂

      P.S. Had my PRK November 7, 2012. Happy. More than happy :)) Still have some blurriness, but nothing to do with the first month. I had -8 and -8,25.

  9. Joanie
    January 31, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences it really helped me after having PRK. I have not been back to this site since my vision stabilized and I stopped freaking out. I thought I should share my experiences. I have worn contacts/glasses since I was 10 yrs old. I had PRK with mono vision 4/8/12. My vision was -4.50 and -5.00 with astigmatism. I was told I was not a canidate for Lasik. After having PRK I went through seeing double and not being able to read anything for the first 2 weeks. I don’t know if it was sheer determination or just needing a paycheck but I went to work a week after my surgery even driving myself to work. The first 2 weeks I regretted having the surgery and was a little freaked out but I kept reminding myself what a pain in the butt the glasses and contacts were and just had to trust the doctor when he said it would get better. I did notice that the third week my vision started to change for the better and then it would get better every week after that. My vision is now 20/20 in the right 20/30 in the left and I am very happy with the results. I would do it again! My eye doctor did stress keeping the eyes hydrated with the rewetting drops for the first 3 months after surgery and that would determine how fast the healing would be. I believe that was very important and followed his directions. I now use the eye drops once and a while when I remember. I really have had no problems with dry eyes at least not the same dry eye problem I had with contacts. Thanks again for sharing!

  10. Alison
    February 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Thanks for your blog / glad your journey turned out well. My doc decided on one eye at at time due to my work computer related… I am at wk 2. I wondered if one eye would be off bc of the one eye at a time but you had both at the same time and one eye is off.
    Do you plan to adjust that eye further
    What rewetting drops did you use
    Was your doc Ny based

    Good idea to stop the blows to the head ,,

    Thanks again for sharing..

  11. Carmen Richardson
    February 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thank you for your blog. I had PRK five days ago. I read other blogs that scared me to death. My husband had PRK 11 years ago done by the Army, and he survived the procedure. I had my procedure done five days ago by a board certified doctor (Dr. Pham in San Diego) who obtains new equipment as it becomes available. Either I am Superwoman, or my doctor is excellent because I have had zero pain, nada. Only a scratchy feeling in one eye which tells me it’s time to go lay down and rest for a few hours. My healing mirrors your experience. This morning I can do computer work, type this, but only for a few more minutes, then back to the couch to rest my eyes. Yesterday I walked my dogs for 45 minutes. I had on dark sunglasses and a ball cap, but whew, felt like a spotlight was aimed at my face. My vision is blurry and out of focus, but I can still see better than trying to see without my glasses. I just wanted to share my experience for others who are thinking about PRK and not every experience is bad. PS, my doctor recommended taking 1,000 mg of fish oil and vitamin C several days before the procedure and continuing on during healing. I do think those two things made big difference in the healing.

    Thank you again everyone for sharing your experience on this blog. It is sooo helpful.

  12. Abhi
    February 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences. I had PRK 2 weeks ago and was freaking out. I see similar ghosting and blurred vision. As you said, reading text has been a nightmare. Other than text, everything seems ok but just blurred edges. Your experiences are honest and give me a lot of positive energy to wait patiently. Hope my vision gets better. I will reply again to this post as my eyes recover.

    Thanks again for sharing your experiences. It is really really helpful.

  13. Ram
    March 1, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I went for pre test and found out I can only opt for PRK. My doctor advised I can go back to work in 3 or 4 days time. But reading the above comments it freaks me out. looks like I need to be prepared to be out of work for atleast 2 weeks.

    • Alison
      March 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      My doc also recommended PRK But one eye at a time so that I could do my computer work/ got a blank lens on one side of eye glass frame so that I could see out of the un operated eye with a prescription but for the operated eye a blank lens .,, I am at the 6 week mark and still no full clarity out of operated eye though it is way better than my unoperated eye without eye glasses- prefer not to wear contact lenses in light of other eye still needing PRK in coming wks- rather not mess with cornea thinness… All the best- also heard vitamin C and fish oil help before and after procedure…,

      • Jules
        August 24, 2013 at 2:13 am

        Hi Alison, Was there any pitfall to having them done seperately or did you feel that it was much easier that way? Did you pay extra for the extra booking/prep time needed for seperate laser procedures? Did you feel more (or less) anxious going for your 2nd PRK? I have a high prescription so I think this might be the best course of action for me maybe.

  14. Jurge
    March 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Great blog. I’ll have to get this done in the next 3 years (for law enforcement). This whole procedure seems like walking though a dark tunnel and not knowing whats on the other side. Having contacts is annoying, but fine as long as you don’t go underwater. I’ve sparred with them a few times shortly, and there were no problems, as long as no shit got in there. But if you’re regularly getting hit it in the face area, it would be problematic. The thought of getting halos and dry eyes is very alarming. I find contact lenses to be restrictive because you have to clean them 10000x before putting them on or off. And your eyes also need time off from lenses in order to oxygenate. I cant wait to not be visually handicapped without the use of lenses. From what i’ve researched, PRK with Wavefront seems to be the best option. Its great to read your blog on this, very motivating.

    • Jasmine
      June 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Jurge, I’m leo and just had them done last week. Even though I can read computer stuff, I’m at 20/60, so I can’t legally drive or worse get in an involved shooting… Too much liability. I’m waiting it out until my next appointment to see what he says. Also, about ten years ago I was punched in my eye and the doctor noticed post surgery that it inflamed that area. Just keep that in mind if you get the surgery.

  15. March 15, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I had the PRK procedure on 1/4/13 and have been “checking in” on your blog through out the weeks that have passed. I am grateful that you took the time to do this as it gave me hope in the early weeks that I was going to be able to see again! My experience matches yours pretty close, so I always enjoyed reading the next post to see what I can look forward to. Paul

  16. Paradise
    March 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Sounds similar to my experience and I’m glad to read this. I actually had Wavefront PRK about 4 years ago, and my vision is very good now, still. The first few years there was some moderate dry eye that propelled me to use eye drops a few times a day, but I have not been using them in about 2 years now. The dry eye basically went away and my vision is still very good and clear.

  17. Rebecca
    March 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I am scheduled to have the PRK surgery on 4/8/13 …I leave for Disney the 18th….do you think it is wise for me to keep this surgery date, or wait till after my Disney trip to get the eye surgery? I want to be able to see in Disney…and by reading your blog, it seems like I am not going to be able to see…that would be horrible!! Let me know what you think.

    • chad
      March 28, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Most people have lousy vision for weeks and months during the healing process. If you’re really into Disney, you may want to delay the surgery.

    • Carmen Richardson
      March 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Rebecca, I agree with the thread. I had PRK on Jan 30, 2013. You won’t be able to see clearly by the 18th. Things will be very fuzzy and out of focus, not to mention light sensitivity. And, it will be during the freak-out stage when you think you will be left with bad vision for life. You will start to see improvements once you stop doing the steroid drops twice a day, at the one month mark, but not before. I have my two month check-up tomorrow. My vision is at the 95% level and I am thrilled. Bottom line, postpone surgery until after Disney. It’s a blast and you are correct, you want to see and enjoy it.
      San Diego
      PS My doctor, Dr.Pham of San Diego, told me women have less pain than men for PRK. I had zero pain, pre surged, during, and post surgery as well as zero pain during the healing process.

  18. March 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks so much for posting about your experience. I’m scheduled for PRK in a few weeks, after finding out I’m not a good candidate for LASIK (thin corneas). I’ve been reading up on it and appreciate hearing from someone who’s been there. I also work in IT and look at a computer all day — so it’s good to know what expectations to set for my team about a realistic timeline for me to get back to full productivity.

  19. April 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I’m 10 days post-op at this point, and my vision seems to be better at the 10-day mark than most. I have some blurriness and ghosting, but I can function without glasses and work on a computer in normal size fonts. I miss the clear vision my glasses gave me, but I am starting to see hints of what my vision might be like. I admit that’s exciting to consider. I appreciate your blog and hope things turn out well.

  20. Steven
    April 6, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I’m very glad I found this blog – I did some research before opting for PRK treatment and the detailed posts on this blog in particular gave me some good insight on what to expect. It’s been 4 weeks since I had my treatment, and I’m roughly on-par with the experiences posted here. My vision is still rather blurry – I have some ghosting (I see a lower ghost image in my left eye, and a ghost to the left in my right eye) which varies in intensity during the day. I suffered from light sensitivity for about two weeks, and I’d have dry eyes up until about a week ago (they still get dry occasionally, but not to the level where it felt like my eyeball would get stuck to my eyelid).

    I’d say my vision currently *feels* similar to how well I saw prior to surgery without my glasses on (I cannot recall the exact values, but I had mild myopia and moderate astigmatism) – although the blurriness is more or less constant regardless of distant (except for items almost at the tip of my nose) whereas previously I could see relatively clearly up to an arms length away (e.g. I could read a book reasonably well without glasses on). Sometimes though, with some furious squinting, I have moments where I can currently see quite well – it gives me hope that my regular vision will become quite crisp with some more healing time!

    I’ve been reading through all the comments of this and previous blog entries, and I can certainly relate to the frustration people are feeling. I sometimes question that perhaps the procedure has failed. Although some of the “side effects” of PRK surgery (i.e. photo sensitivity, very dry eyes) have mostly disappeared over the last 4 weeks, my vision seems to be just as blurry as it was right after the procedure. I’m used to seeing quite well – during eye tests prior to surgery, I could read the bottom line of the eye chart with ease when I had my glasses on. The doctor said my corrected vision was better than what 95% of the population had, and felt confident that the same results could be achieved with PRK (the testing equipment used on my eyes prior to surgery seemed to agree with this opinion). Having gone from “excellent” vision (albeit with the need to wear glasses) to fuzzy vision, and not being able to do anything about it other than wait and hope for the best, has been very demoralizing for me. Still, I know that this is how recovery with PRK goes, and my healing process seems to be rather typical compared to others, so I know that good things should come in time!

  21. Karen Horstmeyer
    April 19, 2013 at 1:15 am

    thank you to everyone …had my PRK on 29MAR …READING all that everyone has posted makes me feel “normal”…too bad the DRS do not advise us of the reality of the healing process..I did no research before the surgery just trusted in the DR…dumb!

  22. Sindy
    April 20, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    I am schedule do the PRK on may 2. I am very nervous. I am also flying out on mid June to Europe . I was wondering if anyone have flew 6 weeks after having the surgery done. Thank you.

  23. Leslie Moore
    April 27, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Wow–this is a great source of information. I had it done a couple of weeks ago on April 11. I only had my left eye done. The doctor didn’t want to do both eyes at the same time. The light sensitivity in my left eye is horrible. Even with sun glasses it is very bothersome. Does anyone know how long this will last? The dry eyes are getting better but I still need to put lots of drops in. How long will the light sensitivity last? I am not sure I want to have my right eye done if it lasts much longer. Thanks for any info you have to share!

  24. Kristina Gorokhova
    June 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    thanks for the post! I am having assessment done in 3 weeks and i am freaking out.I do not like when people touch my eyes so it will be an experience for me for sure…. I did a huge amount of research…talked to people who had surgery done…Hopefully i wont chicken and go through the whole process…

    Thanks again

  25. Jodie
    July 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    I am on Day 4 of having PRK done. Every day seems to be a little better. When I went in for my day after check up, I was 20/40 right eye and 20/50 on left eye. I am excited to continue my journey with my PRK.. I have had a little swelling but overall no pain. I wasn’t eligible for Lasik due to my cornea not being thick enough. I decided to do PRK because not being able to see without my glasses, I mistakently put an eye creme on my toothbrush instead of toothpaste.
    I enjoyed reading your blog thank you for sharing.

    • stacy
      July 6, 2013 at 1:06 am

      Hi Jodie, HOw are you feeling? you are the most recent on this thread so I will be following your recovery. I am scheduled for pRK on the 18th and extremely nervous. Keep the updates coming thanks

  26. stacy
    July 6, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Getting ready for PRK next friday excited and nervous all at the same time I will keep you posted

  27. Leslie Moore
    July 6, 2013 at 1:42 am

    I am scheduled for a kerotectomy on July 17. Is this what you are calling a PRK? I had my left eye done in April. I am noticing a slight improvement in the vision in my left eye. I remember the first night being quite painful. I will take the pain meds much sooner this time. That pain lasted less than a day though. I have an appointment Tuesday. I want to get my left eyeglass lens updated before having the right eye done on the 17th.

    Stacy–i am anxious to follow your progress.

  28. Adriana
    July 30, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I first have to say I’ve been following this blog for some time. I had PRK done in November and my vision was around -6.00 in both eyes. I’m 25 years old and wasn’t a candidate for LASIK because of corneal thinness. I’ve read so many positive comments on here and I have had many friends, including my husband, who underwent the surgery and are all VERY happy with their results. I feel like the black sheep because my experience has been…not so good, to put it lightly.
    I had severe discomfort for about a week after surgery. The bluriness did not clear up for about a month and after that, my vision never became crisp of sharp, like how I had seen with contacts.
    Follow up after follow up I was told it was normal and too early to tell if anything was wrong, but that I was simply “behind the curve” in terms of healing. I had been taking 1,200 mg of fish oil everyday prior to surgery and continued to do so. Took vitamin C, followed my drops regimen, wore protective sunglasses outside….nothing helped.
    Flash forward to now, 8 months later, I still can’t see right, I squint and strain my eyes, I went to a doctor and was told I need glasses. I understand when the surgery is performed the doctor must include a margin of error but there are people with much worst prescriptions than I initially had who have achieved excellent results.
    I suppose my question is: has ANYONE had a similar experience?? I can’t find anyone who, after 8 months, can say they have. I only find people complaining about 2 weeks-3 months after…, anyone??

    • The wife
      September 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      My husband had PRK almost 3 weeks ago on Friday. He went through the surgery not realizing how lengthy the healing process was actually going to be. They really down played it there and told him he could drive the next day. I know you are looking for someone who has had surgery 8 months ago or longer like you with the same experience. So when my husband was in the pre op room with a bunch of other people he started to talk to other people in the room and one guy who was there said he was there for his second time. He had surgery back in October which was about 10 months ago and he was back a second time for his left eye only. His right eye was perfect, but he said his left eye is just off. Whatever that means. We were told that sometimes people have to get it redone. When we payed for my husbands PRK he did it in August and they had specials and included was if he ever needed his eyes redone or touched up it would be done for free. So I would recommended talking to your doctor and seeing if having it done again is an option? Hope this helps!

      • Leslie Moore
        September 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

        I have had two keratectomys. The first in April 2013 for my left eye and the second in July for my right eye. Then my right eye needed re-done because of a “bump” that developed. This has been about 3 weeks now. The light sensitivity is starting to get better but i am still going to work before the sun comes up to avoid the early morning brightness. I hope the ‘bump” doesn’t recur but i understand that it could. Has anyone else experienced that?

    • Lomy
      May 7, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Adriana, I had my PRK done 10 month ago 6/20/2013, I was not told about the healing process and time properly and they made me think I will be able to work and read fine in less than a week. It took me at least 2 month to be able to see fine and read the font on my computer. after 3 month I was able to read and do everything but there was still a tiny bit of blurriness, was told it will get better once eyes stabilizes. About 2 months ago, started having this issue reading from TV and computer monitor, still good vision but there is blurriness reading far signs and fine details. Went to Dr Beyer who performed the PRK (Boulder Eyes) to check and was told my eyes are 20/20 right and 20/15 left. I couldn’t trust what they told me, especially that I work on IT and have to use monitor all day long and can see the blurriness all the time. went to another eye doctor and told me I my eyes are 20/20 both on the blurry side. with -0.50 left and -0.25 right near sighted and some astigmatism, went back to check with Dr Beyer and show him other Dr results, but he said it doesn’t matter and that the fraction is very small and there is nothing he can do to fix it.
      Right now, I’m thinking of checking with another LASIK surgeon to see what they can do. If they can fix it I will do it then will sue Dr Beyer for not fixing it during the first year after his surgery. However, I will wait till the end of the month to make sure my eyes still the same.

  29. Luis Santander MD
    August 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Chad,

    Greetings from Asuncion, Capitol city of the hot and great Republic of Paraguay.

    I’m a Medical Doctor, but Opthalmology is not my specialty. So, we were pretty much at the same position, only that since I knew more of the functioning of the human eye, the complications were more terrifying in my head (going blind for example).

    I concord that the one Doctor that should poke your eye, should be the best there is from where you are.. no matter the cost. So it makes you confident that you are on the best hands possible.

    I loved your blog because you kept it simple and very enlightening in every step of the way. Currently I’m on my 10th day post-PRK and reading that other people were going through the same thing as I am, makes me more confortable.. knowing that everything is actually going well and it takes it’s time.. and I need to be patient..

    Congratulations on your blog and thanks for letting us know, that what we’re going through now is normal..


    Dr. Luis Santander

  30. Asifa
    August 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for your blog. it is very useful. I am getting my surgery done on Thursday.

  31. Reuben
    September 2, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m a software developer myself and your blog posts were really helpful. Would you happen to know which type of laser was used? I was given many choices by my doctor.

    • chad
      September 2, 2013 at 7:21 am

      I’m not aware of what laser was used. I don’t think I was given a choice. Good luck!

  32. AhmadMob
    September 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    I had my PRK 10 days ago and all I can say is that I recommend it to anyone who wants get rid of glasses/contacts. I still have corneal haze in my left eye with some blurriness and ghosting while my right eye is near-perfect vision. Both eyes have halos and glares tho.

  33. Leslie
    September 24, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I had my left eye done in April and my right eye in July and in August.I has a growth removed from my right eye; then I had a growth on my right eye and had it removed. I still have dry eye in my right eye but the left eye feels good.

    VERY sun/light sensitive. Anyone else?

  34. Debbie
    September 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I had my surgery last november. I was -12 and -10. I was over corrected at first and had to have a second procedure in March. I am happy to say that I can see great and only suffer from dry eyes. It wasn’t fun having the surgery twice but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I love this blog – thank you.

    • Leslie
      September 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

      I had this done on one eye in April and the other eye in July. I am very light/sun sensitive. Has anyone else had this sensitivity?

      • Julie
        November 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

        Leslie, how is your light sensitivity half a year later? Did you hear back that many others experience the same? I haven’t had prk yet so I am curious about what to expect.


      • Leslie Moore
        November 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        It is getting better. I have made adjustments. I go to work early before the sun comes up to avoid driving in the sun. When the sun is first coming up it is very difficult.

        I also wore 3 pairs of sunglasses. (I am back down to one now.)

        Get some of the large ones that cataract patients use. Then get a pair that clip on–my doctor gave me those and also a pair of the flat ones that slide behind your glasses.

        The light sensitivity outside only lasts a few months though. My eyes feel so much better now and it has only been 3 months. I use drops often because I still have dry eye. I have no regrets and would do it again.

        I had my left eye done in April and my right eye done the end of August. I am very happy. Hope this helps! I am sure others have had other experiences. Leslie

        Sent from my iPhone


  35. Debbie
    October 12, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Are you in Ontario? Where and which place did you have your surgery done?

  36. Emily
    November 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thank you for this blog. I had prk done almost two weeks ago. I did a lot of reading on it and asked the doctors a million questions, but it’s still nice to read your blog and know that the fuzziness I see is normal. It’s frustrating right now because my left eye isn’t seeing as great as my right, and I’m ready for 20/20!

  37. Amanda
    November 21, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Does anyone think they could do perform surgery (I am a vet) 1 week post op?

  38. Ralph
    November 23, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Excellent report on your experiences with PRK, I am on day 8 after the procedure and the halo/ghosting is worrying me quite a lot. Whilst I did my research, the Dr does not seem to explain recovery issues in the detail I would prefer. Your comments provide the sort of solid information on the expectations post PRK, that unfortunately is not provided by some of the practicing Doctors. Thanks Mate.

    • Luciana
      November 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      Ralph, I’m considering during PRK next month, did your doctor use the “wavefront” technology to create a custom map / fingerprint of your eye?

  39. Ashwath M
    December 3, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Hi folks,

    This blog is giving me positive thoughts and I am getting ready for my PRK this month end.. may be 29th Dec 2013..

  40. Lauren E.
    December 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing you experience in detail! I had PRK about 2 months ago and it was the absolute best blessing in the world!

  41. Pavan
    December 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Hi Guys.. I have my PRK scheduled 23rd Dec.. Thanks for the Blog 🙂 Got some confidence..!!

  42. January 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Glad I found you! Bilateral PRK on Jan 6 2014 so I am in the looking at the world through a smear of vaseline stage and wondering if I can keep my job as a computer trainer. I drove a very short distance yesterday but I feel clumsier and less able to react so I am not driving again until I clear up a bit. I had a weird experience while in surgery – those freezing cold eye drops gave me a brain freeze that lasted for about 4 hours. I was in so much pain. I had said no to percocet but I did call on some Tylenol with Codeine bc days 1-5 were pretty painful. I had to call a neighbor to help me get my daughter ready for school because I couldn’t see through the burning/stinging/watering eyes to make her lunch (unless I threw in a can of tuna and a cough drop). Thanks for your info and most helpful logging of your progress. Now I feel like I have a real picture of the length of the healing which puts the surgeon’s ‘mild discomfort’ phrase into the myth category.

  43. Sandy
    January 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you for this blog I am on day five of PRK. I went back to the doctor today for my second follow up since surgery . I was so frustrated I could not read the paper at all even with readers. He looked at my eye and the contact had moved. He readjusted it and I could read again. I go back on Thursday which will be one week post surgery to have the contact removed. I will be happy to have it removed but so far i have not had any problems with it other than what I just mentioned. I read your daily blog and it helped me very much in knowing what to expect. So far so good and I expect things to even get better. thank you again for this very informative blog.

  44. February 4, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Did you have a lot of eye irritation years after your PRK surgery? I’m 4 years post op and my eyes are constantly irritated. I’m not sure if it’s dry eyes or just something in the air like pollen is doing it. It comes and goes like the ebb and flow of the ocean wave.

    • chad
      February 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      Not personally, but I’ve heard the same sort of irritation has affected others.

  45. Etiah
    February 10, 2014 at 2:22 am

    Loved your blog!
    I’m a little over 2 weeks out from my PRK surgery and am beyond thrilled with the results so far.
    Leading up to surgery I was prepared to get Lasik but knew that PRK was a possibility. I needed to be out of my contacts for a few weeks to get proper corneal thickness measurements plus my eyes had scars from long term contact wear and a corneal ulcer from a few years back. Both procedures we explained to me at every visit. So when I found out the doctor decided PRK was better for me I was ok with that.
    I never had any pain during or after surgery. I never used the numbing drops provided. On day 2 or 3 I remember the bandage lenses feeling uncomfortable but that was usually alleviated with the lubricating drops. On day 2 I also had severe light sensitivity to the point that I wore my sunglasses inside. Some days my vision is hazy but for the most part it’s not problematic. I’m just follow my after care instructions…The 1st few days I was on 4 different drops I’m now down to 3…restasis, fml, and otc lubricating drops. I also take 2000 mg of vitamin C and 2000 of Omega 3.
    My only complaint is that all the drops make my eyelashes crunchy…and sometimes it looks like I just woke up and haven’t cleaned the sleep away. I’m not much into wearing makeup but had been putting in a little effort prior to PRK…once I’m done with the FML drops I’ll revist eye makeup again.

  46. February 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Reading your PRK experience and all the comments here really made me feel a lot better. I’m at 11 days since having my corneas peeled off, and as a programmer I’m feeling a lot of frustration at having my font sizes huge and having to constantly put drops in, but I’m glad I’m not alone! I keep wanting it to improve faster, since I still wouldn’t trust myself to drive, but I hope my progress is similar to yours and I can look back at the experience with no regrets.
    I am glad that the doctors were pretty up front about my recovery times. In fact, they told me to go read people’s blogs so I’d have an accurate idea! So I’m glad I found your entries

  47. Matt A
    March 25, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Chad,
    Thanks for posting your experience, I am on day 5 post PRK and it was very helpful to see what others went through. I only had one night of discomfort/pain, I guess I was fortunate. My vision is already near 20/20 (left eye is great, right eye isn’t quite done healing yet). Your blog and others helped me make the choice to do PRK over LASIK, I’m into hockey and martial arts and was a bit unnerved by the flap.
    Overall my experience has been outstanding, I attribute a large part of that to my surgeon (TLC, they were fantastic). The entire staff was very up front about what to expect and gave me as much detail about the process as I could ask for.
    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for posting this, it definitely helped me.

  48. Sandeep
    April 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks for all your blog posts! I had my PRK surgery 9 days ago and read your blog posts before and after my surgery. I’d say my recovery in the first week has been a bit faster than yours was. I have reached the point now where I’m happy with the results am still seeing day-to-day improvement (though less and less each day), though I definitely hope I improve a lot more. I still see a bit of ghosting and blurriness/smudging. I expect that I will over time, as I’m still early in the recovery process, relatively speaking. At this point, I’m driving fine during the day and able to use a computer at normal resolution without too much difficulty, though I do get fatigued a little bit after a while. Not too bad though. The only aspect that affects of my visions really affecting my life at this point is my night vision, I’m not driving at night yet, and worry that I’m still not close to being ready. I see starburst from lights at night, and also have trouble seeing things in the dark (like a person crossing the street). Again, I expect this will get better but hope that it is sooner rather than later. I’m trying to be positive about it though- it means that I can’t stay in the office too late and also that I can’t be designated driver for my friends at night 🙂

  49. Nicole
    April 5, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I just had the prk procedure a week ago, I just stumbled across your blog while doing some more research on healing time. I have to say I greatly appreciate your candor, and my experience so far definitely mirrors yours. I am on day 9 and am just grateful at this point that I can read again. Thank you for creating this blog post, it has reassured me I made the right decision to have prk done. I did not have the option for lasik though, due to the shape of my eyeballs.

  50. Brenda
    April 13, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you so much for your blog . I had prk three weeks ago . I thought I was going crazy and read your blog and it put my fears to rest. I had no idea the first three days would be so crazy.

  51. Alix Watson
    June 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I recently had prk done, my number was -2.50 on both eyes, i have cross 2 week mark and my left eye is now at 20/15 and right eye is 20/20 almost. I did feel pain 3 times in first 2 days, 3rd day was the worst when it comes to clear vision, i see blurry all that day, contact lens were removed on 5th day. Purpose of doing PRK is because of the long term side effect of Lasik, i was candidate for lasik but i chose PRK because its has lesser complications.

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