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Am I a good candidate for PRK?

Criteria for PRK laser eye surgery

lasik eye surgery at Turner Eye Institute in San Leandro, Concord and Castro Valley CARight after LASIK, PRK is one of the most commonly performed laser eye surgery options. These two procedures are very similar, but also have significant differences. Neither laser eye surgery is always better than the other, but one of them is likely better for you! Depending on your personal needs and unique vision condition, your eye doctor will decide whether PRK or LASIK is the best fit.

PRK and LASIK use the same basic laser eye surgery technology, yet LASIK involves cutting a flap to access the corneal tissue, and in PRK, your eye surgeon will remove the outer layer (epithelium) entirely. How does your eye doctor determine whether you are a good candidate for PRK? Our eye doctor at Turner Eye Institute explains.

Candidacy for PRK

Your eye doctor will meet with you to discuss your lifestyle requirements and to perform a detailed eye exam to check if you qualify for PRK. The following variables will be considered:

Vision prescription

PRK is used most commonly to correct myopia (nearsightedness). PRK is generally the preferred laser eye surgery to treat severe myopia.

Corneal thickness

This is important because of the different ways that LASIK vs. PRK are performed. During LASIK, a corneal flap is created. To be safe and effective, this requires a thicker cornea. In contrast, PRK laser eye surgery doesn’t entail cutting a flap. That’s why it is a popular, suitable option for people with thin corneas who do not qualify for LASIK.

Type of employment or occupation

The corneal flap created during LASIK is contraindicated for people who work in certain industries, such as construction, military, or manufacturing careers. That’s because the risk of eye trauma is higher in these jobs, which increases the possible risks of the corneal flap. Our Turner Eye Institute eye doctor often recommends PRK instead of LASIK for patients who are employed in these fields.


Just like LASIK isn’t always the best option for certain occupations, it’s also not recommended for people who play contact sports or engage in martial arts and other types of high-intensity activities. These hobbies expose the eyes to potential trauma, and PRK may therefore be the preferable solution for laser eye surgery.

Ultimately, only a qualified eye doctor can decide which laser eye surgery is right for you. To find out more about PRK, contact Turner Eye Institute for a consultation.

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