PRK vs. LASIK: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to vision care and eye health, this is an age of innovation. So many new treatments are becoming available that it can be hard to keep them straight.

LASIK and PRK are two popular vision-correction procedures. Although both address vision problems, the two approaches are slightly different.

At Advanced Laser & Eye Center of Arizona, home of, our eye care specialists are excited about providing our patients with a full range of eye care and vision treatments, including laser eye surgery. Here, we explain the difference between PRK and LASIK.

Laser eye surgery

More than 194 million Americans wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. If you’re one of them, you know that glasses and contacts can sometimes be annoying. Eyeglasses get dirty and scratched and can slide down your nose. Contacts can be expensive and are sometimes uncomfortable.

Laser eye surgery offers those who wear eyeglasses or contacts an attractive alternative because it can correct some of the same vision problems that make glasses and contacts necessary. LASIK and PRK are two types of laser eye surgery.


LASIK, which stands for laser in situ keratomileusis, is a procedure that can reverse nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. However, it cannot treat the age-related stiffening of the lenses of the eyes that requires many people over age 40 to need reading glasses. 

LASIK corrects refractive errors in your vision by changing the shape of your cornea, the transparent covering over the front of your eye that bends (refracts) light as it enters your eye. LASIK can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses or contacts.


PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, is another type of refractive laser surgery. Like LASIK, it corrects refractive errors in your eyes by changing the shape of your cornea. Also like LASIK, it can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism but not the age-related stiffening of the lens.

The main difference between PRK and LASIK is that LASIK requires your surgeon to cut a flap in your cornea, but PRK doesn’t. For this reason, PRK can be a better option for people who have thin corneas or who are very active and don’t want to risk post-surgical complications caused by the dislodging of a corneal flap.

There are some other differences between the two procedures. It can take longer to recuperate from PRK than from LASIK. Also, patients must temporarily be more careful after PRK not to rub their eyes or expose their eyes to bright sunlight.

Which is for you?

Don’t feel stressed if, after reading this blog, you’re not sure which of these procedures is best for you. Our board-certified ophthalmologists are here to help you make the best possible choices for your eye health and your vision.

Let us work with you to correct your vision. Our offices are conveniently located in Gilbert, Chandler, and Queen Creek, Arizona. Contact us to schedule a visit today by calling the office nearest you or booking online.

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