If you wear glasses or contacts, chances are you’ve had quite a few experiences that your cumbersome glasses and/or contacts have made unnecessarily complicated: you definitely know how annoying it is to have to constantly clean off the your glasses’ lenses and/or re-moisten your contacts, and you might know what it’s like to stub your toe on every piece of furniture on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night after neglecting to put on your glasses/contacts. If you are a person who has become fed up with the bothersome, daily upkeep that glasses and contacts require, then there is an extremely good chance that undergoing a Los Angeles laser vision correction procedure will tremendously impact your life in a positive way- by correcting your vision and allowing you to get rid of those inconvenient glasses/contacts for good.
There are basically two types of laser eye surgeries: the PRK (PhotoRefractive Keratectomy) procedure and the more popular LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) procedure. Although they use different methods, both PRK and LASIK fundamentally work in the same way: during both procedures, the cornea (the clear part that lies on the surface of the eye) is reshaped in such a way that the light that enters the eye is altered to properly focus when it hits the retina, thereby enhancing the patient’s ability to see clearly.
The PRK procedure is conducted by manually scraping away the epithelium (the outermost layer of the patient’s cornea) in order to reshape the corneal tissues that lie under the epithelium (the stroma layer) with an excimer laser; the epithelium layer will grow back after the procedure. During the LASIK procedure, the outermost layer the cornea, unlike the PRK procedure, is sliced into a corneal flap with a microkeratome blade so that it can be flipped up and to the side in such a way that the Los Angeles Lasik eye surgeon can manipulate the stroma into its most effective form; after the laser part of the procedure is finished, the corneal flap is replaced on the surface of the eye and allowed to naturally heal.
Although there are a couple benefits to the PRK procedure- first, this procedure does not make a corneal cut, thereby eliminating the riskiest part of the LASIK procedure, and second, this procedure carries a smaller risk of ectasia (a condition that causes bulge in the eye when inner eye pressure begins to press on the surface of a thinned corneal wall) because it does not deeply penetrate the cornea- its longer recovery period as well as its more painful healing process, when compared to the recovery period and healing process of the virtually pain-free LASIK procedure, pretty much outweighs those benefits. On top of that, modern advancements in surgical optometry technology have greatly minimized the risks presented by the introduction of a corneal flap through the LASIK procedure, rendering it even more effective than the PRK procedure.