1 Week Post PRK, Had -2 in Both Eyes, Now Left is 30/70, Right is 20/40, is This Normal?

I m from Lebanon, 30 ys, urology resident,healthy, and I underwent PRK for myopia -2 in both eyes, 6 days ago exactly, 2 days the Dr. removed my contact lenses, and said good. My right eye is improving significantly and approaching almost 20/25, but my left eye is still blurred, almost 30/70, and when I look by my left eye through a tube that I construct by my left hand, I see 20/40. I am extremely worried, and wish did not do PRK, and need your help, did I lost my best corrected vision.

Doctor Answers 4

1 week post-op for PRK

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During PRK, the corneal epithelium is removed and the laser is applied to the underlying corneal layer.  Following surgery the epithelial tissue must regrow.  After one week, the tissue is mostly regrown but there is often a small central area that is not completely intact.  This can make vision worse after one week than it was in the previous days.  Once the central cornea is healed vision generally starts improving again. 

You will need to be patient and wait for the results to improve.

San Francisco Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

PRK and Slower Visual Recovery

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Now that there have been more than 20 million Laser Vision Correction (Lasik and PRK) procedures done in the world, we have learned alot. We know that the long term safety of the procedures is the same. We also know that the long term visual results with these two procedures is the same. Additionally, we know, that the visual recovery of PRK is slower than Lasik, and this is what you are experiencing. PRK involves more disruption of the corneal surface cells than Lasik, so the best visual results can often take 1-4 weeks to come around. Because Lasik involves "lifting up" these surface cells, the visual recovery is much faster. Don't worry, though ,because PRK is often indicated for certain shaped corneas and is a wonderful procedure, though the vision returns a bit slower. So, don't worry....your two eyes will continue to improve and they should equal out in the coming days.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Post PRK recovery can take time

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Be patient. Recovery post PRK can easily take several weeks. Continue the lubricating drops frequently for faster recovery. The “tube” trick is called a “pinhole effect” and does usually improve vision by reducing refractive error.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

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Postop recovery in PRK vs ASA LASEK epiLASEK

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PRK has a delayed recovery, so it is somewhat normal for your vision to be that way a week out

if you had ASA, or LASEK or epiLASEK, your recovery would have been better and the pain less

those are forms of Advanced Surface Ablation, which is called Advanced because it's more advanced than PRK

i did my last PRK in 1999, and my last LASIK in 2005, then i switched to only ASA procedures

your MD should have told you that when you remove the bandage contact lens it makes your vision worse

and what you should do is keep both eyes closed always and lubricate obsessively so the skin smooths out

then you will see normally

i would call your doctor if the left eye isn't catching up to your right within a couple days of doing the above

hope this helps!:)

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.