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LASIK is the industry standard for vision correction, but it is not the answer for everyone. To receive LASIK, you need to meet some candidacy requirements.

These criteria are in place to protect you. While the procedure is safe and simple, it still carries inherent risk.

You must meet all the qualifications to reduce risk and create the best possible outcome.

Keep reading to learn more about if you should have PRK if you don’t qualify for LASIK!

LASIK Candidacy Qualifications

To qualify for LASIK, you will first need to attend a LASIK consultation. During this appointment, you will discuss things such as:

  • Your age
  • If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant before having LASIK
  • Your personal health history
  • Your expectations for having LASIK

Pregnancy can affect your candidacy because being pregnant alters your hormones. This is important because your hormone levels can affect your prescription.

Young eyes do not finish developing and changing until they are in their mid-twenties. In either case, there’s no point in getting LASIK if your eyes will change after having it.

During the consultation, you will also undergo a series of tests on your vision. These tests will help your eye doctor determine the following and more:

  • The health of your eyes
  • Your prescription
  • The thickness of your cornea

To recover from LASIK, your eyes must be healthy. If you have any autoimmune conditions, this will make it harder to recover after having LASIK.

Knowing your prescription provides your eye doctor with important information. Finally, the thickness of your cornea determines whether having LASIK is possible.

If your corneas are too thin, it becomes unsafe to undergo LASIK due to not having enough corneal tissue.

This last candidacy rule is particularly important for patients interested in PRK.

What is PRK?

PRK is an alternative procedure to LASIK. The basic concept of PRK is like LASIK, but there is a small yet significant difference.

Both LASIK and PRK involve reshaping the cornea. They do this by removing tiny amounts of tissue from the thick, central layer of the cornea.

The difference is in how the two procedures get to the middle layer of the cornea. During LASIK, the top layer of the cornea remains attached by a small flap and is reattached at the end of the procedure. This reduces the length of the recovery.

There is a drawback to reattaching the flap of the cornea after surgery. This flap of tissue produces the greatest risk of complications from the surgery. It can become dislodged or get torn open.

During PRK, your surgeon removes the entire part of the top layer of corneal tissue, called the epithelium. Removing the epithelium increases recovery time and slightly increases the risk of infection.

Because there is no flap created during PRK, it’s a great option if you’ve been told you can’t get LASIK because your corneas are too thin.

Is PRK The Solution You’ve Been Looking For?

In short, PRK is a fantastic alternative to LASIK under the right conditions, but it isn’t for everyone.

Find out what option is best for you. Schedule your LASIK consultation with Colorado Eye Consultants in Littleton, Colorado!

If you’re tired of wearing glasses and don’t qualify for LASIK, PRK could be right for you!