Is there discomfort from PRK surgery?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:48 pm
Most patients feel very little, if any, discomfort during PRK (P-R-K) surgery. It’s not unusual to notice a little pressure around the eye, but most patients report no pain at all. Numbing anesthetic eye drops are applied before surgery begins to prevent you from feeling any pain. After the procedure, a patch is placed over your eye and can usually be removed the next day. You may experience the sensation of having a foreign object in your eye, much like an eyelash, which can last for several hours. You may also be overly sensitive to bright light, and your eyes may feel gritty or scratchy. These effects will persist until the outer layer of the cornea grows back in a few weeks. It sometimes helps to wear non-prescription sunglasses during this recovery period. Also, the use of soothing eye drops and bandage contact lenses can dramatically reduce the discomfort. Another possible side effect is blurry vision when you try to focus on objects up close, but this is part of the normal PRK healing process. As with most surgeries, there’s always a risk of infection or inflammation after laser correction. This may cause some discomfort, but it’s easily treatable and shouldn’t last long. If all goes well, your vision should completely stabilize within six months. Be sure to contact your eye doctor if you feel excess discomfort after PRK surgery.
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