The two most common types of laser eye surgery are LASIK and PRK. If you feel you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery then it is important that you do research and understand the two most common types of this surgery.
To be considered a good candidate for either you need to meet a few qualifications. First of all you need to have a relatively common form of bad vision. You must have a condition that involves problems with the lenses or corneas. This usually includes nearsightedness, farsightedness, or an astigmatism. The more severe this problem is the more likely you are to be a bad candidate for laser eye surgery. You also must be in good health and not have a healing disorder or a disease such as diabetes. Please consult a licensed optometrist for more information.
LASIK iss also known as intrastromal keratomileusis (say that five times fast haha). During a LASIK procedure the small layer of skin covering the eye is cut and lifted, followed by the top layer of the cornea being cut then lifted. After all of this is complete a laser is used to reshape the underlying area inside the cornea. Because most disorders that can be treated with LASIK are problems that involve a misshapen lens or cornea this can be very effective. The newly reshaped cornea and lens allow the light to focus properly on the retina and you will be able to see clearly. LASIK has very minimal pain and doesn't take very much time. The average LASIK visit can take as little as fifteen minutes. LASIK is also the most popular eye surgery.
PRK laser eye surgery, or phototorefractive keratectomy has been around a little bit longer than LASIK. It is different from LASIK in that it reshapes the main surface of the cornea rather than the underlying area. Rather than cutting and lifting the top layer of the cornea the laser shoots through the top layer and reshapes it. For this reason patients usually report that PRK laser eye surgery is a little more uncomfortable. PRK also takes quite a bit longer to heal, has longer lasting side effects, and on top of that you have to take special eye drops for as much as 4 months. PRK, however, requires less instruments and a surgeon doesn't have to actually cut away a flap or your upper cornea and flip it over.
Most ophthalmologists, doctors who specialize in surgery and diseases dealing with the eyes and visual pathways, will recommend LASIK because of its significantly quicker healing time. Your new permanent vision will be acquired in about a week with LASIK but it will take longer with PRK.