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My PRK Recovery Timeline

prk-surgeryOne major consequence of PRK over LASIK is the longer and much more variable healing/recovery time. It’s nerve-racking having blurry vision weeks and even months after surgery.

The amount of time required to heal can be frustrating.

Since I’ve found comfort reading other people’s recovery timelines, I offer mine in hopes that it will do the same for you. On the flip side, I’ve also read quick healing timelines that made me more stressed out. Hopefully my story doesn’t do that to you. ;)

Just remember healing time is extremely variable; six months being the most common “worst-case scenario,” but I’ve also read between 9 and 12 months.

Unless anything else comes up, I will no longer update this post cause I’m back to normal! w00t w00t! But if you have any questions about my recovery, feel free to leave a comment.

Also, be sure to read the comments for some other first-hand recovery experiences. Thanks everyone for commenting and sharing!


Day 1 – September 30th, 2010

Surgery happened around noon.

We’re looking to correct:

  • Nearsightedness (-3.25 in both eyes)
  • Slight astigmatism

I will say one thing about the surgery itself. The doctor sprayed some fluid in my eye right after the laser zapped my cornea. During this split second I could see crystal clear. The laser above me was in sharp focus; no haze, no blurriness, just perfect vision.

This short glimpse into my future vision is what I hold onto when I doubt the results of PRK. I keep telling myself: “You saw clearly then. You will see clearly again.”

Right after surgery I could see somewhere between with contacts/glasses and without. So between 0 and -3.25. I didn’t have any pain, but the doctor told me to take a Lortab when I got home.

Lortab makes me nauseous, so post-op went something like this: got home, took a Lortab, slept, woke up, took another Lortab, slept and into Day 2 we go! ;)

Day 2

Eyes feel fine. No pain or discomfort. Doctor says everything looks good.

Vision is still what it was yesterday. Blurry, but better than before surgery without contacts.

While the doctor says I can’t drive yet, my vision is good enough that I feel comfortable driving to the grocery store for some lubricating drops. Not sure if my eyes are in the legal limits though. ;)

Day 3

You know the feeling you get when you’re in a dark room and walk outside into the sun? Your eyes feel overwhelmed and you have to shut them for a bit?

That’s how my eyes felt for the first part of the day.

I tried watching college football but couldn’t keep my eyes open for too long. My eyes felt overwhelmed. I couldn’t keep them open for more than a few minutes before I wanted to close them.

Luckily that cleared up halfway through the day and I felt fine afterward.

Vision hasn’t changed though. Still blurry.

Day 4-5

I was standing in my living room looking across to the kitchen when I realized I could see better than the previous days. Still not better (or equal to) when I had contacts, but definitely better than before.

That’s good news right?

Day 6

That is until the doctor messes with you!

I go in for my second post-op appointment and the doctor takes out the bandage contact lenses.

Vision regresses to what it was on Day 1-3. Bummer! *shakes fist at doctor* “You’ll rue the day!”

Day 7

I drive for the first time at night.

This is my first post-PRK venture in the dark with my new eyes. I know night vision problems is a common side effect of PRK (e.g. halos, glare, starbursts), so I’m anxious to see what night vision problems I have.

To my surprise, it doesn’t appear that I have any.

Since I’m still somewhat sensitive to light, I don’t stare at any street lights for too long, but as far as I can tell my night vision is what it was before I had PRK. Not seeing any signs of halos, starbursts, etc.

I’m praying this trend continues throughout my PRK recovery.

Week 1

The common thread the past week has been vision that is between with contacts and without. Basically my nearsightedness has been reduced, but not eliminated.

Luckily it’s good enough that I feel safe driving because I go back to work for the first time tomorrow. I’m slightly worried about going back because I spend a vast majority of my time on a computer and I don’t want to strain my eyes while they’re healing.

But *shrug*. It is what it is. I gotta work to pay the bills.

There haven’t been any significant improvements or regression in vision (just a small improvement on Day 4 and 5). Overall my vision has been fairly consistent since the surgery.

I will say I am surprised at how non-existent pain and discomfort has been. I’ve experienced no pain or discomfort this past week. Also, I don’t have any problems with dry eyes (another common PRK side effect). I use the lubricating drops as directed, but never feel like I need them.

Score one for the home team!

Day 8

First day back to work.

As I mentioned earlier, I spend most of my day on a computer. Being back wasn’t nearly as straining as I had expected. I did have to bump my screen resolution down to 1024×768 to see anything, but I feel good about resuming normal computer activity (with frequent breaks).

Day 9

Today was the first day I felt good about the strength of my eyes. My eyes have needed 10 to 15 minutes in the morning to fully wake up and not feel like they’ve just woken up from a coma. Not so much today.

Aside from the still blurry vision, they feel strong.

The eyes no longer need to be babied and I feel comfortable resuming activities I’ve avoided the past week (e.g. reading my Kindle and using a computer).

Day 10-12

Same old, same old . . .

Day 13

While my vision hasn’t had any major fluctuations since the surgery, I can tell there are slight changes up/down. Every couple days or so I’ll sense my vision is better than it has been. Usually it’ll happen randomly during the day, but it doesn’t last to the next day.

Today, unfortunately, was the noticeably worse day I’ve had since the surgery. Not horrible by any means. I could still drive and function as normal, but I could just tell my vision was worse than in the past.

Day 14

If yesterday was the worse day, today’s the best my vision has been yet. How convenient since I had another appointment today. ;)

Surprisingly, my vision is somewhere between 20/40 and 20/25. Didn’t realize it would be that good. I could make out the letters on the Snellen chart, but the sharpness/focus wasn’t there. That’s the part I miss the most from my vision. Even reading things up close (like the text on this monitor) don’t have the crispness I did with contacts.

But according to my current progress, the doctor says it’ll take another three weeks before my eyes stabilize.

So until then I won’t worry too much.

Week 2

My vision through this past week has stayed fairly consistent. Consistently not stellar. The story of my life the past two weeks. ;)

I can detect minor ups and downs in quality of vision from day to day, but nothing significant. I’ve had both my best and worst seeing days in the same week. But overall, I don’t believe my vision is any better than it was a week ago. Or, maybe the progress is happening so subtly that I can’t tell?

Also, the doctor says to wait another three weeks for the eyes to stabilize.

In all of this, you’ll hear me say my eyes are blurry a lot. I think I should define that a little more. I was nearsighted (-3.25 in both eyes). After surgery I am still nearsighted (as of right now), only less so. I can read/see fine up close, but things in the distance are blurry.

Blurry applies to distance vision (which is expected being nearsighted) but it also applies to close-up vision. In this context, blurry means the vision isn’t crisp/sharp. It’s slightly out of focus. So while I can read a book just fine, I can detect a hint of the words being out of focus.

The clarity just isn’t there yet.

Week 3

This has been the best week by far. There’s been noticeable improvement in my vision. I believe I’ve hit 20/20 at various points. It’s been neat getting up in the morning and being able to see clearly.

My vision hasn’t fully stabilized yet, but I’m finally starting to feel better about the results of my surgery. If things progress as they have I’ll be a happy camper.

I also engaged in sports for the first time without any problems. Played a couple matches of tennis and a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee. At no point did I feel hindered because of my eyes.

There are still minor ups and downs from day to day (and within each day), but the average quality of my vision has improved. Let’s say last week was 75%, this week it’s been 85%.

The blurriness is slowly clearing up (both distance and close-up). I can now see objects in the distance with more focus. Books are also getting clearer, however, I am still having some blurriness when viewing computer screens.

Week 4

I’m pretty confident my vision is at or near 20/20. This makes me happy, but at the same time my vision is still not at the same quality it was with contacts.

I could see 20/20 with my contacts, but things were much more crisp.

Being able to see 20/20 is only one aspect of good vision. The part I’m missing is the sharpness and clarity. So that doesn’t make me happy and reminds me there’s still more healing/waiting that needs to be done.

Also, I think I am having some night vision issues. Still no halos, starburts, etc., but I feel like I’ve lost the ability to see detail in the shadows. It’s kind of hard to describe. As I’m drive at night there are portions of what I see that appear to be completely black; where I can’t see any detail. Instead of seeing an outline or shape in the shadows it all blends together into a blob of darkness.

Let’s hope this isn’t a permanent issue. While it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it were, it’s still a little weird. What if a burglar jumps out from the shadows and I can’t see him!? ;)

Week 5

Overall, not much has changed from last week. The vision has stayed consistent (near, if not at 20/20) and I think the lack of clarity/sharpness has gotten a bit better.

And also, I’m positive now I am having night vision side effects. I haven’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is. But it does have to do with not being able to see shadow detail. And whether it is related or not, there seems to be certain situations with lights (i.e. stop lights/car head lights) that make me sense something is different than it was prior to surgery.

I’m going to try and experiment with my night vision this upcoming week to see if I can explain what these “symptoms” are.

Week 6-7

Wow, has it already been seven weeks since the surgery? Over the past two weeks I’ve found myself not noticing any vision problems at all (at least during the day). So the slight issues I had looking at computer screens has gone away. It was such a gradual thing that I didn’t even realize it was getting better.

I just started waking up and going about my day like nothing was wrong. Only when I had to think about writing this update did it occur to me things had gotten better.

But as I hinted at before, I still have a detectable problem seeing details in shadows at night.

Even if that doesn’t clear up, I will still be satisfied with the results of my surgery. I have a follow-up appointment this upcoming week. We’ll see what the doctor has to say then.

Week 8

Had a follow-up appointment with the doctor this week. According to the Snellen chart, I’m seeing just better than 20/20. I could read the 20/20 line without any problems and some of the 20/15 line. Good news there.

As far as the night vision problems I’ve been describing, I explained it to the doctor and he wanted me to do a little test. He wanted me to compare my night vision with someone else. His main reason being sometimes people can over-analyze too much and he wanted a comparison.

Sounds like something I would do. Pretty ingenious “experiment” if you ask me. ;)

So I did the test and my roommate could not see shadow detail any better than I could. Perhaps I am seeing normally. I’ve only been able to compare with one other person. I’ll find a few more and see if the results are the same. If they are, that bodes well for me. That means my vision is normal and as good as it was with contacts/glasses!

From here on out I will only update this blog monthly.

3 Month

90 days! 3 months!

So here’s the deal. From my last update you know I was “complaining” about some night visions issues and the comparison my doctor wanted me to do. Aside from my roommate, I didn’t compare with anyone else cause I feel like I don’t have those night vision problems anymore.

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself it must have been psychosomatic (i.e. my brain was making me think I had issues when I really didn’t), but I swear I had problems! By coincidence it cleared up after my doctor had me do the test. Seriously! ;)

I would say I felt 100% healed and fully functional at the 2.5 month mark.

Other Recovery Timelines

1,434 replies on “My PRK Recovery Timeline”

I’m wondering if when you started driving did you have any pain in your eyes like it was hard to keep them open and they sting a bit? I’m 2 weeks post opp and this is my biggest issue. I’m not sure what it is and not get answers at my dr.s

Yes I had the same problem initially. At 2 weeks you’re still totally in the recovery stage so your eyes are super light sensitive and dry. It’s hard to stare at the road. After another couple weeks this passed for me. I’m sure it will for you too.

i remember that type of discomfort early in my recovery (like within the first two weeks). sometimes having a hard time keeping my eyes open (because they were so sensitive to light). but no issues driving. biggest issue while driving was lights looking like star bursts early on.

Hi Alex. Thanks for sharing. Im getting prk done this Thursday the 21st. Your story gives hope to me and a lot of people. I hope i have the same results as you. One comment id like to make is that i have read several prk recovery stories and noticed every single person noted great vision at 1.5 to 2 months after surgery. I think this has to do with the steroid drops. From what my md said, the drops help the eyes heal a certain way. Md prescribed these drops for 6-8 weeks. Several days after discontinued drops the vision starts to stabilize. Thats just my two cents.

Thanks again for sharing your story. Best of luck to you.

Hi. Please need help. Its 3 weeks to prk. And i have developed astigmatism. He said it will go away. Is this normal? Did anybody experienced it?

I’m on week 4 of recovery and I still have some blurred vision and dry eyes. But the thing that I’m really struggling with is I’m SO TIRED all of the time. Is that a side effect that anyone else dealt with? I suspect it’s because it takes energy to heal plus my brain is struggling to make sense of the new vision coupled with blurriness. I’d love to hear if you had something similar and when it got better.

Hi kim.
I m on week 3 and facing same issue. Tiredness in your eyes is because of dryness. Use prescribed lubricating eye drops mote frequently. You will feel better with blur vision too!
This will get better within 2 to 3 months.

Thats normal. As the day goes on it gets more hazy. Part of the healing process. I am on day 11 with same thing.

Hi. Thankyou! I am on day 14 now but with the same thing! I can’t study! I feel so bad! Regretting though for having the surgery ?

like timothy said, that’s normal. you’ll see fluctuations in quality. sometimes it’ll get better, other times it’ll get worse. don’t worry about it and just be patient!

Hi. Thankyou for this! I had prk 8 days back. Yesterday (7th day) i got my contacts removed. My vision has decreased as after day 1 of surgery.
I can’t see far and near things. Is this normal?
How much time will it take to get better? I had -3.25 in both eyes. TiA

from what i’ve read (and my own experience), it’s normal to have eyesight regress when the contact bandage is removed. i can’t tell you how long it’ll take to heal, that varies pretty widely. but it took me about 2.5 months.

Hi alex! My vision is fluctuating. Minute by minute, blink to blink.
How much time it will last? Any idea

Thank you so much for writing this. I’m on Day 5 post-PRK surgery and had my bandage contacts removed this morning. My vision immediately regressed – I could read text on my phone this morning, but can’t after the contacts were removed. It makes me feel so much better to hear that others have had this, it’s normal, and it should improve again.

Yes it will improve! I am on day 20 and my vision is gettinh much better day by day!! It is not equal to vision i had with glasses but it is much better! Don’t lose hope. Be patient!

I heard from my doctor about this. It’s normal for both near- and far-sighted vision to fluctuate or be a little worse after the bandage contact is removed.

“The lens provides an artificial smooth surface that hides the irregularities of your healing corneas.”

Hi I am also facing the same problem. I had prk 12 days ago and facing same by day feeling blurry and lossing clarity of vision. Is this normal ?

Thank you for sharing!
I am currently 3 weeks post PRK surgery. My vision is at 20/20 but like you have mentioned, I don’t have that crispness yet. This isn’t my concern as I can be patient while my vision becomes clearer.

However, my recovery has been extremely painful and uncomfortable since day 1. I woke up almost every 2 hours feeling like someone was gouging my eyes out. At first this only happened at night and once I put eye drops in they were fine. Now, my right eye has healed and I felt no pain in it after day 4, but my left eye still is experiencing that extreme pain and it goes on all day. They prescribed me an over the counter ointment that seemed to help overnight and for 4 days I was pain free! But now the pain is back and I’m am feeling extremely defeated. I was told I’d be able to go back to work 5 days after surgery and I have had to cancel all my clients for the last 3 weeks out of fear that the pain in my eyes will strike at any moment.

Anyone else experience this pain? I’d love to know that I’m not alone and that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel!!

while i can’t speak to the pain you’re experience, there is light at the end of the tunnel! hopefully you’ll get through it quickly.

I am having a Morn of soreness and pain mostly left eye 10 weeks post lasek. Any one had had this and it cleared up? Feels like a blow to the eye.
It started 6 days post lasek. I am miserable!

Hi Alex,

thanks so much for your post. I found it incredibly comforting to know it’s normal that the healing takes time. Also, thanks to all the people commenting underneath. Your stories are in some ways very close to mine, and its really nice to know nothing is “wrong” with me.

So here goes my story. I am now 7 1/2 weeks after my surgery ( I did Trans-PRK, so without alcohol). I am actually not completely happy, since I am still not at the level that I was before the surgery, where I was still wearing glasses.

Looking at things in a distance is fine, though not without some small level of blurriness. The biggest problems I have are with things that are near. Looking at my computer and the phone is still really exhausting, and not fun. I experience ghosting and blurry vision. For most of the recovery process, I could only work at the computer while setting the resolution to be very low. Since last week I was able to set the resolution to normal again (week 6), but I still don’t “like” looking at it.

This is frequently freaking me out. My job requires me to work on a computer a lot, and, since I work in research, I also have to think while doing so. I find myself being distracted way more often and not being able to concentrate. As such, I don’t really like my job at the moment.

Also, this is a general thing for me. I cannot concentrate well and constantly feel “dumber” somehow. I forget things way more often and have big problems thinking clearly. It feels a little like I am constantly overwhelmed by my vision. As a result, I don’t like going out as much and frequently want to leave social interactions because I feel tired. Anyone else experience this?

I met my doctor the last time at the six week mark. He told me I have to take the steroid drops which I am taking since the surgery two more weeks until the end of my eighth week, which is in three days. Many people here have said that once they didn’t take their drops anymore, thing changed. So I am hoping I am one of these people. I am moving half-way around the world in three weeks and am a bit scared it won’t be fully healed by then.

To all of you in the first four weeks: Hang in there, it will get better significantly!


Hi. Did the things change for you? After stopping steroids? I am on week 8 post prk. My vision is still blurry. I still have to use steroids for 3 weeks. Please do let me know! TIA

Thanks for sharing your stories, Stani and Alex (and all other commenters)! It is comforting to read on here about others experiencing the same timeline or just to feel more prepared on what to expect in the coming weeks/months. The info being shared on here is exactly what I was looking for online. I wanted to comment to Stani that I too feel “dumber”! I thought I was crazy for thinking this but glad that i’m not the only one out there.

I’m on day 9 and things are pretty blurry. If I concentrate on things they will come into focus. Being on the computer all day for my job has been a little straining. Seeing things up close is harder than seeing things far. I’m hopeful things will be good in the 2.5 weeks like Alex.

I am now a month post PRK surgery, which felt like a long time ago. Everything is great other than my vision at night (or at the end of the day); sometimes I see double or its still a bit fuzzy. It just seems like my eyes are more heavy and tired at night. Studying is kind of hard to do at night too but I am still able to read. I do not regret doing the surgery! I am giving a lot of patience to let my eyes heal :)

I did prk surgery for both eyes.
Today i am at day 18.
I see well enough at near places less than 2 meters.
Is it normal to take this duration.
Is it possible to get 20/20 next 5 days or it may take longer.

if you’re still having a hard time seeing outside of 2m, i imagine it’s a stretch to get to 20/20 by now. although with PRK recovery, you never know.

Is there anything to heal faster.
Is there anything that delays the healing time that i should avoid.
After 1 week i have eye vision test for a job.
I would do anything to heal faster.
Thank you for your help

honestly, i’m not sure if there’s really anything that will make you heal faster. as much as you can though, follow your doctor’s instructions. i don’t know how much it helps, but i would also recommend not stressing your eyes. so take frequent breaks if you ever find yourself having to focus your eyes for longer periods of time (on a computer, reading, etc.).

I had -3.50, -3.75, and astigmatism. I healed super quick, and I really believe good eating and rest played an important part. Everyday for a week, I ate oatmeal, whole wheat, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, almonds, bell peppers, carrots, chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli, eggs, oranges, and chickpeas.

Hi Alex!
I am going onto week 3 now, its been a rough 2 weeks. I’ve never had trouble seeing up close (farsighted) until after my PRK surgery. Did you struggle with that at all? Its a huge struggle for me as well as seeing nearsighted, My night vision is awful, i do not like driving at night.. I am so happy i came across your page, it has made me feel a lot better. I actually had laski last April 2018 at 22, And had my PRK the 18th of July this year and PRK and Laski are two completely different recovery processes. Before any surgery’s I started wearing glasses in the 3rd grade, and have always had awful vision..
Laski didn’t last long for me, i ended up wearing glasses again before my year mark. So after going through laski recovery last year i am struggling with this PRK recovery. With laski ii came home took a nap and woke up and i could see. Seems like now with PRK my vision is never going to get better. My next appointment with my doctor is August 28th. So im praying by then my vision will be 20/20 or at least close to that, Im running out of hope. But i am trying. Im sorry i just vented your ear off! I apologize for any errors in my typing, I am still struggling to see the computer screen.
Thank you so much for making this, and giving me some hope again!

-Brittany Walker

Brittany, I’m on week 6 and I can finally say that I think my eyes have stabilized. I no longer need drops, my night vision is better and my distance vision has stopped fluctuating. Most of all, I stopped having eye strain from reading up close and looking at a computer. I have an appt at the 2 month point to see my actual vision, but I’m gonna go on a limb and say that I’m 20/20 on my left eye and 20/30(or worse) on my right.

It’s weird because my right eye “seemed” better before but I think it was going back and forth since I was using drops so much. I’m left eye dominant, so I’m ok with this, as it’ll ultimately work in my favor when I need reading classes. I can say without a doubt already that I can read up close on my right eye a LOT better. So monovision it is.

But for your age, you shouldn’t be struggling with reading up close once your eyes stabilize. For me, it was just strain where I couldn’t look at my phone for long amounts of time. That lasted at least 4 weeks for me. I found that eye drops helped with the dryness, but they made my light sensitivity worse if I used them too much. I also switched to a preservative-free eye drop, which helped somewhat.

As for night vision, I was in the same boat as Alex. Was super paranoid about it all the way until last week where I either got used to it or something just got better. I can’t explain it. But before that, at night, I was really struggling just navigating around my bedroom at night. And outside with the dog, I felt like he disappeared on my when he ran just 20 feet in front. That all somehow cleared up for me.

It really does make me wonder if constant eye drops were irritating my eyes and making these symptoms worse. It could just be a coincidence that I stabilized right after I stopped using them.

similar to you, i didn’t have any issues seeing up close until after PRK. but that eventually went away as my eyes healed. hopefully you’ll have the same results.

I am 74-years-old and had cataract surgery and Touric lenses implanted in both eyes, six months ago. It’s a given, that I would still need reading glasses, because Presbyopia is normal in older people, but I would have much better distance vision. I had an injury to my right eye, fifty years ago and was told it couldn’t be brought to 20/20, but they were able to bring it to better than 20/30, which is OK with me. My left eye, which is my dominant eye, had PRK performed twelve days ago and is still around 20/30. After reading all these comments, I have hope it will get to 20/20. Fingers crossed

Thanks for making this. I’m one month out and still a little blurry. I’m glad to see some ACTUAL numbers of how long it takes instead of the typical “several” months I read on everybody’s website.

Like you, I was a long term contact lens wearer and have been very critical of my vision since the surgery. I’m ok to do most things, but looking at powerpoint presentations and street signs are still difficult to read unless I’m close. Hoping there’s still improvement to be had.

I’m getting kind of sick of my Dr. I feel like he downplays everything I say and gives me too much credit. Says I’m 20/25 but I feel like I can’t read anything at a distance without staring at it forever. And many of the letters I was just guessing and he gave me credit for being close? How does that work?

I’ve also noticed the night vision being diminished. It’s hard to explain, but in low light conditions, everything feels just a shade darker. I have ambient lighting strips on my walls that dim and light throughout the day, and I get this feeling that the living room is just darker than normal all the time. And in my bedroom at night, I definitely can’t see as much. I suppose I’ll just get used to this – it’s just a weird feeling, especially since it’s a permanent surgery.

Again though, thanks for the timeline. My first 4 weeks have been ultra similar to yours. My only exception was on day 3 I was in utter pain and figured out I was allergic to the anti-bacterial eye drops they were giving me. I was toughing it out because they said it would suck, but it wasn’t supposed to suck THAT bad! lol

I am on day seven since my surgery and my day 3 was excruciating! It turns out I wasn’t allergic to the drops or anything but damn did it suck, I told the doctor and he just kinda shrugged it off because it’s “normal” lol

haha. glad you mentioned the eye drop suck and found out it was an allergy instead of toughing it out the entire time. since you’ve had a similar experience to mine the first four weeks, i hope you end up recovery just as well as i did!

Good enough. My left eye is absolutely perfect now. My right eye is significantly worse, but I only notice it when I shut my left eye and try to read at a distance. I’m guessing it’s 20/30 or 20/40.. I’m left eye dominant though, so I don’t think this will affect me in the long run. In fact, it might be better for me when I start to lose my reading vision as I get older.

This is the same for me where my right is significantly worse and I don’t always notice when I have both eyes open. But 80% of the time I do and makes me want to rub my eye as though it’s just some dust and will go away. Unfortunately not and I’m conscious of it and it drives me nuts! I’m at week 5 but hoping my right eye catches up with my left

Hi Alex and all,
I’ve been searching for information and reassurance (which is difficult to do when everything is blurry) and am now more comfortable with reading on the computer.

I’m 54 and had lasik 18 years ago which went great and then as my vision went downhill again I had PRK 6 weeks ago. The first 4 weeks everything was blurry and there was no fluctuation, it was just plateued at that blurry state. The past 2 weeks I’ve had fluctuation and improvement so that my eyes don’t tire as easily.

But I saw the doctor yesterday and my left eye is 1.25 and right eye has double vision (hazing?) and is 1.75. Still very far from clear vision. I thought I was doing well and getting better and really hopeful that with time it would all clear. But at the doctor’s yesterday I was told I was an outlier and that she hoped things would improve but if not I could use prescription glasses/contacts. Anyway, I was alarmed, left and called my husband and cried. There are moments when it seems very clear but they’re transient and far and few in between.

I would love to hear from any of you who might be able to shed some hope.

at this point, you’re about eight weeks post surgery? how are things now? the only hope i can extend is that there are some people who have taken longer (upwards of a year) to fully heal. perhaps you’re an outlier in that sense as well.

Hi Alex, thanks for checking in. I’m at week 13 now and distance is usually great :-) unless I’ve been reading or working at the office then my long distance vision regresses :-( Night vision is consistently terrible.
Even in semi-light my vision is poor. Unless the sun is out or the room is well-lit, my vision is poor so that I can’t see people’s faces well and I don’t feel comfortable driving. It seems I’ve been slower than most in healing and I’m hoping reading (as it causes my vision to regress badly) and driving won’t continue to be a problem. Thank you so much for this blog. This has been so helpful in calming my fear. Cat

Hello, This post is somewhat encouraging to me. I am 51 and also had Lasik 18 years ago. I had PRK in my Left eye 2-.1/2 weeks ago. It is so blurry that if I had had both eyes done, there is absolutely no way I could drive. There is no fluctuation either, just horribly blurry and I have been so afraid that my eye was messed up for good.

Hi, I was wondering if your night vision ever improved? I’m almost 12 weeks since my PRK surgery,and I cannot see anything unless there is bright light. I can’t see the spices in my spice cupboard unless I get a flashlight. I can’t read music on the piano without a bright light. I for sure can’t read unless directly under a lamp. I didn’t know this was a side effect and I’m pretty upset and I’m wondering if it ever goes away.

Hi all – I had Lasek at moorfields hospital in London a few gears ago – bear thing I have ever done for myself. However, over the past few weeks I’ve noticed my eyesight has degraded slightly. I can still see very well but noticed that things aren’t quite as sharp as they have been the past few years after Lasek. Has anyone else had this experience? I’m going to go to Moorfields to find out a) how badly they eyesight degraded and b) if and when I found have them fixed. Curious if other had this experience. I am 40 years old, and my eyesight was stable the past ~5 yeArs. The only other factor I can think of – I was varnishing a fence at my house with wood finish and a small amount sprayed in my eye- I asked them with water and moved on, but other than this, I’ve take care of my health and vision.

my doctor said regardless of lasik/prk, around 40 is when most people would need reading glasses. it’s not an issue with the surgery but a byproduct of getting older. perhaps that’s what you’re experiencing?

I’m noticing the change for distance, vision. If there is a change it’s slight, I don’t need corrective lenses at this stage but just curious if others experienced degrading vision after having near perfect vision for years. I thought 40+ is too old for near sightedness to degrade further but perhaps I Am wrong

My reading vision seems perfect.

Thanks so much for the post. My vision keeps fluctuating and its freaking me out when it gets worse. My first post surgeey check up my vision was 20/40 in the left eye and 20/25 in the right. Now my right eye is getting more blurry and my left is better. Scetchy to me but I’m hoping I heal properly!

Hi, I am 3 weeks post op, after the surgery my right eye was blurry and my left eye can see crystal clear for few days. My right eye improved really quickly, however my left suddenly became blurry from day 3-4 post op, and it hasnt improve since then.
Doctor told me that my eyes are still healing and need to be patience. I am just worry my left eye vision will never improve since its almost 1 month.
Has anyone experience the same issue?

Hi Janice, did you get improvement in your left eye since you wrote here 25 days ago?

I saw my doctor yesterday at the 6 week mark and i am still blurry in both eyes, right is 1.75 and left is 1.25. She said most people are better at this 6 week stage (how discouraging is that to hear from your doctor) and that if things didn’t improve I could fortunately get 20/20 with eyeglasses/contacts.

Hope things are faring lots better for you.

Wow, what a great discussion. I’m 24 days post op., my right is is Nearly perfect, but the left one is lagging behind quite a bit..I would say my left eye is a double (sometimes triple) vision 70% and fluctuating while the right is 95% what it was with contacts.. I notice many people have had the same experience. I am right eye dominant, so I wonder if that has anything to do with the faster healing.

I have been getting worried, but the doctors keep telling me my eyes look phenomenal from a healing stand point.

I notice my left eye sight gets MUCH better immediately after using rewetting drops, and then goes back to blurry a minute or two later. Anyone else experience this?

I am the same way, I’m at my 1 month post Op and my left eye has been a champ this whole time but my right is blurry. I am also left eye dominant. It’s becoming quite annoying so I am hopeful my right eye will get to the same level soon.

It surely is annoying but I remain hopeful as we are still pretty “early” in the recovery process. Do you notice that rewetting drops temporarily make your vision in the bad eye nearly perfect for a minute or two? I haven’t been able to get an answer as to what causes this

Hi Dave,

I just had my 3 month check up a week ago for single eye PRK. I am maybe 50% satisfied with the vision. Far field vision during the day is pretty good (small objects that are not bright by nature). Any kind of bright object (near or far) exhibits severe (in my mind) ghosting (double and smeared vision). Dark rooms are blurry. The worst example is looking at dashboard icons while driving at night – a complete smeared mess. Doc told me I have a surgically induced astigmatism that was not present before. He does not think it will get better, but insists it’s minor. For me, it’s a complete annoyance. My near and intermediate vision are affected the most. Working at arms length is frustrating. He provided me with a +1.00 regular contact lens, and the vision is 95% clearer. Dashboard icons now sharp. So bittersweet to know that I have not been damaged in some way and can obtain clear vision, yet I am wearing a contact post-PRK. I meet with him in a month and will have a SERIOUS conversation on whether an enhancement is possible.

Oh wow, I’m sorry to hear about that. Though I am glad they have found a temporary (and hopefully soon a permanent) solution for you. I’ve had astigmatisms since I can remember, so if i still have them after the recovery is complete I guess life won’t be any different than before in regards to the halos and startbursts.

Did you notice during your recovery that rewetting drops temporarily made your vision perfect? I have bad allergies and pollen is crazy in Florida right now, so it could just be terribly dry eyes. It’s such a tease while the drops last for a minute or so and I’m hoping it’s a sign of where I will be once I heal completely.

Thank you for the reply

Rewetting drops make it a little clearer for a few seconds, but not crystal clear by any means. I think that is a good sign for you, as it is probably masking the healing wound. I’m no doctor though. Might be worth a call to your doc rather than drive you crazy wondering. Although, they tend to put a positive spin on everything. Curious – do the starbursts go away at night with the drops?

I hope it will work out for you. Perhaps there is a chance it will be better in a little more time? I hope you will update us here on how you went.

Long story short. Have had three operations on the same eye to now. Two Lasik and the the third was PRK. After the first operation I had severe ghosting and double vision. Got the feeling no one understood me, but for me it was clearly. After the second Lasik operation I could no longer wear soft contact lens. And I had to live with severe ghosting for a year before I could have the PRK.
Now it has been five days since the PRK operation, and I really hope that this time I can finally see clear again. For the first time in a long time.

Wow, I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope the prk can sort all that out for you. Just know that the recovery will take time and be sure to follow all the recovery instructions exactly as they describe. I just posted my update above this comment.

Good luck to you

Hi Lise, did it work? I have a similar story and am 7 weeks postop now. Still I find reading very difficult… Although seeing objects from far have gotten easier it still is far from perfect. Did the ghosting get better? What was your timeline?

It’s now 5 1/2 weeks post op and my eyes are doing great. My vision in broad daylight is astonishing. I still get the astigmatism-related starbursts at night. the wetting drops don’t seem to help much for those but the bursts are getting less intense as the time passes. The doctor did warn me before the surgery that there was a good chance the astigmatisms wouldn’t go away completely, due to my prescription. I am now completely weaned off of the steroid drops (I used them for five weeks total and tapered off during the final 3 weeks).

I live in Florida where the pollen is absolutely terrible right now. The steroid drops we’re making my allergy symptoms much less intense so I have noticed that my eyes are a bit more blurry now that my pollen allergies are back full swing. However, this is not new to me at all. I had a set of callogen punctual plugs put in and that really helped with the dryness-related blurring.

My vision is now 20/20 in my left eye and 20/25 in the right. The doctor was very impressed while looking at my eyes through his device and said mine healed “beautifully” and faster than most. He said that I should still notice improvements for the next 6 weeks and may end up with vision better than 20/20 in both. I live a very active lifestyle and try to eat an anti-inflammatory diet when possible. I also try to drink as close to one gallon of water per day as I can. I say this not to boast at all but to acknowledge the possibility that it could have something to do with the successful recovery and to encourage others to try the same if they can.

Keep hanging in there everyone. I hope my story can bring peace and hope to you all, as I know it is very unsettling when you feel like they will never get better.

Let us know how things go, Rob. I hope they get all that sorted out for you.

Not boasting. I assume someone with a healthy lifestyle heals much faster and saw comments on a large water intake being beneficial. What do you mean by anti inflammatory diet.
I need this surgery and not looking forward to recovery.

Hi Dave, I’m four weeks after my PRK surgery, I have the same thing that you’ve mentioned that rewetting drops temporarily made your vision perfect for a few seconds, is that normal? how did your vision become after some time, did it become clear like when you were putting your rewetting drops?

from other comments and my own experience, getting clear vision for a few seconds after using rewetting drops is pretty normal.

Did your vision reach the point where it was like when you use your rewetting drops?

yup, my vision eventually got to that point. just needed to wait for my eyes to finish healing.

Hi Rob, you’re the first person in this whole blog to mention the loss of middle and near vision. I healed with startling speed and achieved really good long distance vision, but waited and waited for the middle distance vision to improve as I was only told I would need reading glasses. When I went back for the eye test the optometrist was amazed at my long vision, but when I said I how frustrated I was about the middle distance vision, he said it was a normal outcome and I could choose to wear multifocal glasses. I’m really disappointed as like you I find it so awkward I pretty much have to wear +1.00 glasses most of the time as well as +3 for the close up detailed work I do. He said I can still consider the monovision adjustment after 6 months but I did a trial of that with contact lenses at the beginning and it didn’t go well for me. Please will you report back here and tell us how it turns out for you. I feel deceived and disappointed with my situation now, especially as I’ll have to wait to get prescription glasses and seems like I’ll have to wear them most of the time, like before. I used to be able to see very close up really well but that’s gone now ( as expected).

Hi Ollie. I am basically 100% reliant on the +1.00 contact lens in the left eye. It really does give very crisp vision at all distances, but obviously bittersweet. Vision is very “uncomfortable” without it, and +1.00 glasses in just the left eye do NOT have the same affect, as they make me very dizzy. This leaves me even more reliant on contacts than before surgery. Doctor will continue to monitor the stability of my vision before coming up with a plan of action. I am an odd case since I only had the left eye PRK’ed and remain -0.75 in the right eye. So, without the +1.00 contact, I feel like my eyes are constantly fighting each other for focus/dominance at various distances and darkness levels. Only in very well lit scenes and greater than 20ish feet am I satisfied with the result. I may be stupid enough for an enhancement, as I am desperate, but I will seek out a second opinion before that. I hope your end outcome is positive.

Hi Ash, more of the same. Rarely while wearing the +1.00 contact I get a stabbing pain that requires me to remove the lens and clean it; very odd. Giving it a few more months to stabilize before I consider enhancement. A positive is that a second opinion from a different eye doc thinks there is hope with enhancement.

Hi Rob, I’m in the same situation as u! I have about 1.75 astigmatism left post 1 month prk. Prior to it was 2.5 Did u opt for enhancement?

Hi Laura, no enhancement as my doctor suddenly retired. He sent me to his doctor, who said he would not recommend any more surgery. My vision is AWFUL. I’m dizzy everyday. I wear contacts in both eyes +1.00 / -0.75. The contacts help, but I’m in the years of reading glasses now, so I need +1.25 reading glasses over my contacts. It’s a feeling that I just will never see normal again and it affects everything I do. Dr. Gold in Hamden, CT destroyed my vision.

sorry i’m just now jumping in. i just realized comment notifications were broken on my site. great to see others jumped in here and shared their experience. as for the rewetting drops, i do remember my vision getting clearer immediately after applying them. but like you, it didn’t last long. seconds maybe. possibly a minute?

hello Alex
i am in 12th day of surgery and the vision is still completely blurry
the doc try to keep me waiting
but i am very worry and i can’t wait with these worries
i feel a fog in front of my eyes
what can i do ? is my vision now normal ?

if you’re only 12 days in, your vision is not what it’ll end up being. give it some time and it’ll slowly get better. but also know there will be times when it does get worse. it’ll feel like two steps forward, and one step back. but stay patient and follow your doctor’s instructions!

Alex, did your post-PRK vision eventually become as crisp/clear as it was with contacts? I had PRK done to both eyes this past Thursday.

yup, my vision post-PRK has been just as good as it was with contacts but without the hassle.

Hi Alex, it’s a well written article. Especially for people you have done PRK.
One question I wanted to ask you is – do you experience a blurr vision in darkness in a dark room with no or little light ? I am asking in comparison to the time when you have glasses before the PRK ?

It looks like my vision in darkness (during night) is not that good when I had glasses (with -4.75). Saying that I am still happy with my PRK (done 2 years back).

no, i haven’t had any issues with blurred vision at night. since the surgery, i’m thankful that i don’t believe i have any side effects. the quality of my vision now (without contacts/glasses) is just as good as it was before surgery (with contacts).

Hi Alex, thank you so much for the valuable post. It’s my 17th day post PRK and vision is so annoying and worrisome. I have been listening to different peoples experiences, even from my own sister who had surgery a year ago and its not satisfying to me. But your post helped me so much to understand different stages of healing(form patient perspective).
Right now, it is very blurry and I am seeing double or overlapped letter in computer and its making me nervous about my vision.
It is okay to look into phone and computer screens in this situation as i am a data analyst and i need to work on computer programming ?

i would bump up the resolution on your computer so you can see it without overly straining your eyes. and even so, make sure you give you eyes a rest regularly. at least a five minute break every hour of screen time. and if you feel your eyes getting tired earlier, take breaks more often.

Yup, its blurred even after zooming. But i feel its gettinv bettef everyday. I will keep posting my progress.

Hey Sam, any update? I’m at 2 months plus a week of left eye PRK. Very disappointed with the constant blurry vision. Night Driving is bad, daytime short and mid-distance blurry. (ghosting blurs everything). I’m supposedly 20/20 but not crisp at all. Only far-distance in bright conditions is satisfactory to me. Hope is dwindling.

Rob.. Im almost a year in. Right eye is 20/20 possibly even better. Left eye is also probably 20/20. However, I am still getting really bad ghosting in left eye and is constantly blurry. It is especially worse at night. Also very dry eyes in my sleep. Hoping to get this resolved. You could still be recovering so give it time. I have been told they will not attempt to fix anything until it has been at least 1 full year. hope all goes well with you.

Thanks for the response. I see my doc today. The only way I get the ghosting in left eye to go away is to go extremely cross-eyed and cover my right eye. I fear I’ve made a bad decision and miss the crystal clear contact lens vision I used to have. This link here gave me hope, because this Python guy had double vision which disappeared overnight at around 3 months.

fingers and eyes crossed….good luck

Hi there. I’m day 13 of recovery from PRK. My contact lens prescription was -9.5 in both eyes! The day after surgery was the worst for me. I could hardly keep my eyes open so I just laid in bed most of the day and my eyes would just naturally tear up. It was very rough. I had the numbing drops but never used as they said that would delay the healing and i wanted to be healed ASAP since my eyes burned so bad. It feels like onions were just cut and you can’t escape the burn from the freshly cut onions! So….PREPARE yourself for this….24-48 hours post surgery is the WORST! Day 5 I was at 20/40 but it felt so blurry :( My eyes feel very dry all the time but I’m only at day 13. Trying to think positive and hoping this was worth it as I had 0 problems with contacts. Will keep you posted….

Hang in there… gets better. Alex’s timeline is a great source of reference! My doctor had me on neurontin eye drops which is suppose to help with nerve pain. I barely had any pain at all! It is definitely worth it Jessica!

I’ve read through half the comments. I’m T minus 8 days till my PRK Procedure. Getting married on Jan 30, 2019.

When you all mention blurry – does that mean you can’t see at all?
How do you drive and get around?
I’m -6.5 on both eyes. Will it be blurry like I can’t see without glasses?

What’s it similar to? Like now I can’t see much of anything without glasses.

Hello Esther. In the first week, I do not think I’d be able to drive, had I gotten both eyes done at the same time (my right does not need correction, left was -1.75). It was like opening your eyes under water type vision. I’m 14 days out, and I’m pretty sure I’d be driving OK, but it is still blurry. The PC monitor is blurry but readable at ALL distances; not sure I could work a full day if both my eyes were like this. Hard to say. I also had LASIK done in 1999, so it is possible my recovery is different for that reason. If you wear contacts, you might want to consider doing just one eye with your upcoming wedding (Congrats!). Glasses would require a blank lens. I’ll keep posting here to let you know my progress. I notice many stop posting, leaving us hanging!

that’s impressive work reading through so many comments! honestly, i’m not sure what you’ll be able to see after surgery. my eyes were -3-ish prior to correction. so even without glasses/contacts, i could see decent enough that i could drive (albeit carefully). so i was comfortable driving within a week of surgery.

being -6.5, i’m not sure if immediately after surgery you’ll be closer to 0 or -6.5. where you land on that spectrum will probably determine when you’ll be able to drive.

So it has been 22 days since my surgery. I will most likely be able to read the lower lines on the eye chart at this point, perhaps 20/20 – with a catch. I expect I will see multiple letters of each, off to the top left. My next appt is not for another 5 days. I am satisfied with the distance vision, even at night. The close-up (like computer screen) is where the ghosting and overall blurriness concerns me the most. The white from the screen blurs out the black letters, creating a smeared image with no clarity. At this point, I would say that I would not have done the PRK if this was where my vision finalizes. However, judging from Alex’s recovery, I still have a little hope. I guess I will find out over the next few months.

Hang in there…I just started week 8 post prk for both eyes and am finally seeing much much clearer. I would say my vision is at 90% now. I am able to read my computer screen at my normal font size prior to prk. Once I got off the steroid eye drops after 6 weeks, I noticed a big improvement in my vision during week 7.

Thanks. I’m only on Ketorolac, which is a non-steroid. Not sure what it’s for though. It’s good to see people who’ve seen improvements after several weeks/months.

I had my 1 month post-op yesterday, 32 days after surgery. I predicted correctly; the 20/20 line was readable, with ghosting and blurriness. Doc measured me, did some visual tests, and said I have astigmatism. He put a lens in front of my eye and the ghosting went away significantly! He said that the good news is that it is still related to the healing and will continue to improve. Called it a ‘mechanical’ cause of astigmatism, and not caused by the cornea shaping. He viewed my eye closely with the slit lamp and said he can still see that it is not fully healed, and said that that was a good thing. I asked how long until fully healed, and he said rarely does it take longer than 2 months. So, I have renewed hope that the blurriness and ghosting will in fact improve. Next appt in 2 months, unless the ghosting is still present after 1, at which time I’ll see him sooner.

you had your surgery by now. how’s it going?? You’ll be able to see on wedding day, no worries! good luck!

At the end of week one, my doctor cleared me for driving. You will be able to see, just not sharply. I didn’t feel comfortable for driving until towards the end of my second week.

Hey Alex,
Thanks for posting such a great timeline of your experience. Your’s was one of the most helpful .

I had PRK in one eye 7 days ago, after having a retinal detachment 10 months ago. It was very reassuring to read that you experienced fluctuating lows and highs with your vision. I keep wondering if I will ever get good vision back in that eye.

Your detailed and honest experience helped me to realize I need to be patient and wait on the healing process.

I had prk done 14 days ago today. Since then I have read alot of recovery timelines and it seems that I am recovering well comparitevly. I have continually referred to this specific timeline (almost daily and sometimes multiple times in a day) and it has been the main thing helping me keep my head up through this whole process. Boy I didnt realize quite what I was in for! I cant say enough how much I have appreciated having this page to refer to as a reminder that things WILL get better. Two weeks in I feel like I can see close enough to 20/20 at times but the double vision, or ghosting I guess some call, it is still there and clarity comes and goes whimsically. Still getting used to all the simple things like taking my shirt off without knocking glasses off my face and not having to adjust the glasses I had just reached for. Anyways I didnt really have much else to say other than an attempt to convey to you how great this article has been for me in keeping my eyes looking forward to what’s to come after recovery instead of focusing on the recovery itself which can sometimes weigh on you pretty heavily. You have been a bright light in a dark place.

Thanks for everything

hey sean, thanks letting me know how much this post has helped you. i appreciate it!

Hi Sean, has there been improvement on the double vision? I’m 14 days out of left eye PRK, and have distinct ghosting to the left. This post gives me hope, but I’m skeptical the ghosting may not go away. Today seems to be an especially poor day, maybe just like Alex’s Day 13 post. If so, I look forward to tomorrow (even though today is my birthday)!! Thanks all who post here.

Man it comes and goes. I’m a month out now and I go long periods without noticing it then I will look up and everything will be a bit hazy and slightly double vision. I notice it the most when trying to read things at distance.

My frustration grows daily. I will be really surprised if the double vision goes away. It’s so pronounced. Things like turning arrows while night driving, and the dashboard icons. Two of everything. My checkup is 3 days away. Doc says he’s had zero complications in over 2000 PRK’s he’s done. In my mind I may be #1. Can’t wait to see him. Even if I’m reading the “20/20” line, I’m sure I’ll see two of every letter. :-(

I did PRK 6 days ago and had the bandage off today. Eye sight not as good as it was with contacts and my near sight is actually worse and I’m getting lots of blurriness. Really hope it comes good as only early days

seems pretty normal that eyesight regresses after taking out the bandage contact. but it should get better. one step back, two steps forward!

I had mine done 12/7/18 on my left eye. I only had one eye done because I had LASIK in 1999, and since then only the left eye regressed to -1.5. It’s now 12/17 and I have very blurry vision both near and far. I don’t think I’d be able to work on a computer if both my eyes were this bad. Also I see two of everything, sometimes three. I’m trying to be patient, but I just don’t want to be another PRK failure case that you find online…

Hey Rob,

I had my PRK done on the 13th Aug this year. From what I recall it took me between 3-4 weeks before my vision started getting clearer. I literally almost had to kiss my computer screen to work on it during that period.

The two and three of things is usually attributed to the eye stabilization but the thing you need to remember is the dryness. If you wake up in the morning after a good sleep you might notice things are clearer than what they are during the day. This is because your eyes have hydrated during your sleep. Keep drops close at hand when working on PCs.

My eyes are as follows according to my ophthalmologist and later confirmed when I redid the test prior to my drivers renewal a month ago.

Before Right: -3.75 / -0.75 (astigmatism)
Before Left: -2.50 / -1.00 (astigmatism)

After Right: +0.25 / -0.25
After Left 0.00 / – 0.25

Thanks Bryan, I’m sure I’m over-reacting as many do in this similar situation. So, did you get the sharpness after all? How about in dark rooms/restaurants?

I can happily say I am not affected by the star bursts or halos that are associated with PRK. Dark rooms are no issue for me and driving at night is a pleasure since break lights aren’t a blurry mess.

As for clarity/sharpness:
When only looking out my right eye, everything is sharp and clear (I use leaves and twigs on trees at a distance to gauge the sharpness).
As for my left, unfortunately it is not 100% like my right, it might be the -0.25 added with the -0.25 astigmatism but its far better than prior to the surgery. Would I consider trying to get it corrected again, I would say no. It is not enough to warrant re-doing the surgery on my left. While both eyes are open everything I see is as if i’m looking through my right eye anyway.

My ophthalmologist actually said this to me when I talked to him about it “People don’t normally go walking around with only one eye open”.

Which makes sense to me so I am very happy with my results so far.

Thanks again for the details. I am noticing lots of fluctuation throughout the day now. There is a distinct glare that shoots out to the left from all lit sources at night. Hopefully this will reduce in time, as it is probably just a double vision artifact.

I had PRK on my left eye on November 8th, over 2 weeks later and my vision is still VERY blurry. I have had a couple of mornings right after waking that my vision doesn’t seem as blurry but then the blurriness comes back as if nothing has improved. It’s so very frustrating because the doctor told me it would be about a week before my vision was clear again. I am very sensitive to lights or sunlight. Thank you for sharing your timeline. It gives be hope that I will see without blurriness again.

I had PRK done on Saturday. I’m glad I found this post. I did not realize it would take so long to heal and normalize. I am hopeful about the outcome. I have my first post-op exam on Friday. At the moment, it kind of feels like I have one contact lens out with the other one in. The first post-op exam yesterday, appears I can see 20/25, when I was at 20/40. My prescription was at -2.75/-3.0. I do not have the sharpness as mentioned in the post yet. For the brightness issue, I turned down my cell phone and computer screen to 20% and take breaks. I also work in IT, so the florescent lighting doesn’t help. Sometimes, I use sunglasses so my eyes can catch a break. I’ll leave another reply on Friday, after my exam.

Thanks a lot for your timeline! It’s been really helpful for me for the past few weeks. I had my surgery on Aug. 14th, so it’s now 2 days short of 5 weeks. My vision still fluctuates from day to day (not so much within the day itself); so, it’ll be great one day, but the next day it’ll sort of regress. I think I am almost at 20/20, I really can’t be sure about that part, though. When I put in my artificial tear drops, I can see crystal clear for a few seconds, and then it becomes blurry again. It’s just scary and frustrating to see that happening-I think I’m losing my patience right about now!

My question is: at what point can I expect the clarity/sharpness to return?

sorry, but i can’t give you a definitive answer. if you read through the comments, you’ll see the recover varies greatly from person-to-person. if you’re at 20/20 now, that’s a good sign. hopefully it won’t be much longer before the sharpness returns.

I have had PRK twice on both of my eyes. It has been an interesting journey.
8 years ago aged 24 i had PRK done on both eyes. I was rather short sighted. It was pretty painful and uncomfortable for a few days and after about 10 days off work (work on the computer) i returned to work and after about 3 weeks my vision was amazing.
All the pain was worth it and i seemed to be a quick healer. As much as i really did struggle for the first few days i eventually got past it and saw the benefits. My eyes came right pretty quick the first time around. My vision was perfect. Loving life

Fast forward 5 years and my left eye has deteriorated to about 7/10, free of charge i agreed to get a touch up to return my left eye to perfect. The right was at about 9/10 so i didnt bother with that. I figured recovery time would be about the same, boy was i wrong, Took about 3-4 months for the left eye to fully heal the 2nd time around. At the start i was very frustrated and confused as i just expected the 2-3 week turn around.
My surgeon (who was great) told me to be patient and eventually we got there. Slow but yet again worth it.

Fast forward 2 more years and i am now getting head aches because the right eye had dropped back down to 6.5/10 and my left was sitting at about 9.5/10. Bloody frustrating right???!!!! Took me ages to figure out where the headaches were coming from.

I head back in after giving it some long thought and decide to get the right topped up to match up with the left. 3rd time lucky and hopefully last. I went in on 5/2/18 and it all went well, didnt feel quite as bad this around. My eye healed quicker as well. I have become and expert on the whole PRK process.

Fast forward 4 months and my vision is pretty much perfect in both eyes… except i am still struggling with glare and computer work. My eyes are extremely sensitive and sunny days are a killer. Part of me expected this because it was 2nd time around.
My surg tells me to hang in there and eventually they will come right. I use lots and lots of drops and often painkillers. Its bloody frustrating some days but im hanging in there. Am hoping as i move towards the 6 month mark everything will return to normal. Anyone else had both eyes done twice? and or had problems with glare/light and just using phone/computer?

In hindsight i should of had both eyes down at the same time 2nd time over but at the time i didnt really need to. I was abit surprised how quickly my eyes deteriorated (5-8 years) but i was also extremely short sighted

One of my biggest lessons is that everyone has different recovery time.
First time mine was 2-3 weeks now its 4-6 months. Frustrating but its just the way it is. The pain has always been the easy bit for me, few days of just resting in bed then you come good and just have to wait for the vision/sensitivity to improve.
PRK is never a fast process. You need time and patience
Hope this can help others

3 months in after PRK. Both eyes are 20/20 however, my left eye still has some astigmatism. Eye doctor thinks I will probably need to have that eye fixed up again at some point. Thankfully adjustments are free where I had the procedure done. Also waking up in the middle of the night with severe dry eyes unlike I have ever had before. Overall I am happy I had the procedure, its nice being able to see without contacts, especially with my allergies being really bad, contacts would really irritate my eyes but these have been some of the drawbacks so far.

great to hear you’re at 20/20. hopefully with a little more time the dry eyes at night will subside.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am on day 12 myself and had quite a panic today because my vision is worse today than it has been. It’s funny and relieving to see you had the exact same experience around the same time.

Right before my PRK surgery I was told I would have 95% of my vision by day 5, and when I didn’t I got really scared. So it’s nice to hear about other people”s experience.

i don’t understand why doctor’s aren’t more upfront about the healing process with PRK. knowing what i know now about “typical” recovery timelines, there’s no way i’d be confident telling a patient they’d be at 95% in five days. it’s just way too variable.

I’m on day 15 now, and still the same old same old, blur up close and blur far away.

2 days ago, the Sunday of this past weekend, I had probably some of the better vision since my op, but still had to use drops to help. Yesterday was back to the regular blur.

Thanks a million for this.
I’m on day 9 after PRK
(I can thank my very dilated pupils for making my Doc choose this surgery method).

Eyes start off pretty well after a good sleep, but then regress during the day (usually after 30min to an hour) to the point where it’s very blurry that it’s hard to read a foot or two away from me (was a concern for me, but after reading this and some comments, looks like its a common thing).

Same thing with my eyes, no halos or starbursts and no exceptional dry eye throughout the day or when I wake up (but still take the prescribed drops which should finish end of this week). Sunlight, my eyes have always been sensitive to it, so being able to wear sunglasses again is a godsend.

It’s very comforting to see a timeline, even though everybody has a different recovery rate, at least I know its not just “me”. Reading the comments further confirm it.

Your day 1 was a perfect description of my experience, crystal clear vision for me after the laser and a quick rinse with freezing cold water. Then a quick contact inserted as a “band-aid/plaster” and then meh blur…

Seems like I should have positive results based on how your recovery went.

Just takes time and patience I guess.
Great stress relief after reading this.

heya bryan, i’m glad my timeline was a great stress reliever for you! hope your recovery progresses as well as mine did.

Hello guys,
I had an RK surgery 20+ years ago before Lasik came out. Ugh what a bad decision,
Long story short, like everyone who did RK, I started having problems a few years ago and I was told, I couldn’t have Lasik because of my RK .
So I did PRK on 8th.
Left eye can see far and somewhat up close good enough that I wont need reading glasses, But my left eye cant see far or close. its terrible. in my post op visit (when doctor removed the contact lens) told me that both eyes may not heal within the same time frame!! is that right? I mean its like more than 10 days now, and I cant see worth a darn with my right eye!!
Should I be concern? Do you know if the correction is not good enough, I can ask to redo the procedure?

Its funny, When I did the RK, I had to do my right eye twice in 2 weeks.

only being 10 days in, i wouldn’t be too concerned. and i think it’s totally realistic that your eyes may not heal at the same pace. so give it some time!

as far as redoing the procedure, that’s dependent on your doctor. i know some places offer to do an enhancement for free. others at a discount. others no guarantee at all.

Anoosh, I too made the bad decision to have RK, back in 1993. Did pretty well up until last year when I needed cataract surgery. Now an astigmatic mess. Considering PRK,and am curious how you are doing now that more time has passed.

I had CXL 2 years ago and then this past December did PRK. My left eye is amazing, 20/15 vision. However, my right eye is still a complete blur. 8 months later, I can’t even read a book right in front of me with the right eye. Has anyone else had such a delay in vision?

sorry to hear one of your eyes has been so delayed in healing. what has your doctor said about the progress in that eye?

Hey Kelly,
I did mine 11 days ago, and I cant see far or near with my right eye.
as a matter of fact , I think I could see better like the second or third day than now. I just have to force myself to only use my left eye, which is not even close to a satisfactory vision. its very frustrating.
I hope you start seeing some changes in your vision soon. Did you ask your doctor to repeat the procedure for you? What’s he/she saying about this?

Thank you so much for writing this, it’s really helped to put me at ease. These past two days (and i’m only just at my day 10 mark) has really been frustrating me because my right eye has remained faily clear and stable (not totally but I can read things with it), but my left has been at least two lines worse. The most frustrating thing for me was since yesterday both eyes were fairly clear when I woke up that morning, only for my left to get worse 40 minutes to an hour later. It seems to get worse quicker while playing video games. I’m really glad to find other prk stories since I was starting to worry that I should have done LASIK instead. I realize I’m being rather impatient but I tend to worry and overthink a lot of thinngs so I just wanted to be sure this all was normal.

yeah, i remember it being a pretty normal thing for eyes to be fine in the morning and worse as the day progressed (or vice versa).

Thanks for this. I’m exactly three weeks in and my vision is still blurry most of the time with short periods of seemingly perfect vision. This makes me feel better for sure.

nope, i had both corrected for the same thing (not sure the terminology).

I’m about 5 weeks in. The first week my eyes regressed so bad I could not safely drive a car a short distance or let alone see anything. Weeks 2-3 my eyes were still not anywhere near perfect. I’m currently probably around 20/20 in both eyes now. I’m glad I had this procedure done. It’s life changing in a good way. Wish I had the money and the guts to do it 10 years ago!

ditto, definitely a great decision! happy to see you’re at 20/20.

-3.50 left eye -2.75 Right could hardly see the big letter on the top of the chart without glasses before the surgery.

Thank you
It has only been a week and I’m getting alittle anxious
Everyone keeps asking when I’m going to be able to see
I also am wondering and worried
You gave me some peace of mind

great, glad you got some peace from this post. tell all your friends when the front part of your eye gets scraped off, it takes some time to heal. ;)

(that’s the part that makes healing take so long. in LASIK they cut a flap so the laser can reach what it needs to. it’s easy then to fold that flap back down and be able to see fine. for PRK, they scrape off the front layer which takes awhile to grow back.)

Ho guys! I am on my 4 month prk anniversary. I can say that my eyesight today has been perfect. I see halos and starbursts yet, but the dry eyes and the sensibility is getting better. Good news!

Anyway, I am curious how long this surgery lasts. How is your eyesight, Alex, after 6 or 7 years? Yesterday I talked with a guy who had – 6 and did this procedure 10 years ago. He still sees perfectly :) however, I also heard about another guy who needed glasses after 5 years…
Also, I know a man who had – 10/-8 and he didn’t use any glassed for 20 years! And another woman who had – 5 and didn’t use glasses for 20 years either.

Anyway, it would be nice that ppl share their progress after a while. It can be useful for ppl who are considering the procedure.


i’m almost at eight years after PRK. eyesight is perfect, no issues. when i got my surgery done, the doctor said i should be good until i hit my early 40s. that’s usually when most people start needing reading glasses. and that’s _everyone_, not just people with eye surgery.

so even if you had PRK and need reading glasses, it’s not because the surgery failed, it’s just the nature of your eyes getting older and needing more help.

i wonder if the person you talked with that needed glasses at 5 years was around the 40-year-old age.

It was a weird situation. He complained about some complications after the surgery. Moreover, he regressed – 3 astigmatism and – 1.5 nearsightedness. He was 35 when he had this surgery. Maybe it can happen, but it was the only person I have met with an extreme regression. Normally people got worse eyesight because of the age, and maybe slight nearsightedness or astigmatism.

I recently talked to a person who had it done and it lasted nearly 25 years until he had other eye complications from something completely different that changed everything. He said this surgery was one of the best things he ever did.

Good to heard! When you look on the net, you only find bad news… Almost scary. It is nice that Alex creates some balance.

Thank you for writing this! Really made me feel better at my perceived lack of progress! I just had PRK on 5/4/18, and my surgery was changed from LASIK to PRK at the last minute, so I hadn’t mentally prepared for the increased healing timeline. I’m feeling much more optimistic knowing that I’m not alone!

Having such a hard time when well-meaning friends ask me about my “perfect laser eyes” and I have to tell them “well, actually everything is blurry but SOMETIMES clear?!”

I’m at Day 5 though, so I need to be patient. Thanks again for an encouraging post. :D

I had mine done 5/3 and mine was also changed to PRk at the last minute. I almost didn’t do it. I’m also having a hard time reading. I hope it gets better. :)

I hear you!! My main hobbies are reading and playing video games, so it’s been a lot of podcasts and audio books since then. Today mine vision is hilariously blurry, but I’m just trying to be patient. I hope reading is getting easier for you! :)

I also had surgery on 5/4/18 and it was changed from Lasik to PRK literally 20 minutes before the procedure. In the end this is what I wanted but when they tell you it will take time they should tell you that you probably won’t be able to do much the week after. My eyes are slowly getting better but I have a long way to go before 20/20. Left eye healing more slowly than the right. Glad I found this thread though to know this is all pretty normal with PRK.

I had mine in January and the doc also changed Lasik to Prk on the last minute. I had no idea about the healing time as well… Now it’s fine, but it seems that my eyes need more time to recover.

Good to hear it gets better! In some ways I’m glad it was changed at the last minute. I had already spent a couple of years convincing myself to do LASIK, and honestly I know the long term benefits outweigh my temporary discomfort, but I wish I had mentally prepared myself for a longer healing process. Glad to hear it’s not just me! :D

haha, i totally feel you when friends ask about my laser experience. when i tell them recovery took a long time, they’re all shocked because people assume laser surgery is only LASIK.

Over a year later; wanted to provide an update! Am 20/15 now; pretty perfect vision with no long term bad side effects. I still use eye drops to combat dryness (worse during the winter) but that’s all.

I had a very long recovery. I was on the steroid eye drops for three full months (tapered lower each month) but my eyes “responded” to the steroids, meaning my eye pressure was too high/causing a lot of blurriness. During my final month on the steroid drops, I had to begin using NEW drops to lower the pressure and that helped a great deal.

But during the first FOUR months after PRK I had to deal with varying degrees of blurry/non-crisp vision. It was discouraging at times. I wish I had been prepared for this result more adequately since my surgery changed day-of. I work in accounting on a computer all day, so I combated the negative effects by taking breaks and increasing the size of all fonts on my screens and lowering the brightness.

All that being said, I would do it again in a heartbeat. After I was off all the medicated drops, my sight improved significantly. It continued improving six months after surgery.

Over a year out, and I’m so grateful for my (now) perfect eyes. Not having to wear glasses/contacts is SUCH a game changer.

So if you’re struggling now, hang in there. Sending you all the good vibes! Healing takes time. It will improve. :)

heyyyyy! thanks a bunch for dropping back in after a year and sharing your experience. i’m sure it’ll be encouraging to those who feel like their timeline is taking longer than they’d like.

i agree with you. even with the craziness that is PRK recovery, i’d do it again in a heartbeat. it’s such a great feeling waking up without the need for glasses or contacts.

Hey Nicole,

thanks so much for your post! It made me feel more easy about my situation. I am still taking the steroid drops for three more days, and I really really hope things improve then.
I am 7 1/2 weeks in, and I am not happy with the result. Things are still very blurry, and working at the computer is very exhausting. Sometimes I sit in front of the computer for an hour in the morning, and feel like I want to go back to bed because I am so exhausted. Also, I cannot concentrate well. Normal tasks take way longer to complete.

But, I am pulling through. I hope it gets better :)

Best Regards,

So grateful for this! I had PRK on 4/27, & the blurriness is awful. I am struggling at work, which isn’t good given how demanding my job is. I’ve also been getting pretty bad headaches & working both on the computer & in the field is proving to be very difficult & frustrating. I can barely see anything on the computer. My vision clears with drops, but the second I blink it’s back to blurry..

I’m also having a hard time with the computer usage. hopefully, it gets better soon. I’m only one week out.

I am in my 3 month and something healing time. All in all, the healing process take time. You need to think in 6 months timeline. Otherwise you’ll be lost. I still have light sensibility, dry eyes, halos at night.. Although my vision is perfect.

Hello Alex,

Thank you very much for your post which has been very enlightening. I had the procedure exactly one month ago on March 28, 2018.

Everything has been going well, with the only side effects being blurriness.

Then suddenly over the last weekend I woke up with extreme light sensitivity. First on one eye. Then the next eye, then again the other eye; in alternating fashion.

I guess I have a long ways to go. I hope this light sensitivity disappears.

Is it normal 30 days after the procedure to have light sensitivity?

I will go to see the doctor.

So turns out my light sensitivity was due to an infection- conjunctivitis (pink eye).

My eyes were really watery and painful and cherry red.

I think i developed the infection immediately i went off the antibiotic drops (which also have the steroid). That was like a week ago.

Anyways I am better now after being brought back on the antibiotic (less than 5 hrs and all the swelling and the pain and the light sensitivity is gone).

Interesting point: When I was off the antibiotic (and even with the swollen red eyed light sensitive state) my vision was the clearest it had ever been. it was better than 20/20 on the left eye and 20/25 on the really sick right eye.

Now my vision is back to blurry. But no light sensitivity zero swelling and almost back to full white.

happy to hear the infection is now under control. hopefully the clear vision you had off the antibiotics is a foreshadowing of how things will end up!

Good sir,
I came back to report that yesterday on my 4 month check up, I got 20/15 in both eyes!.(coming from 10/200 and 20/200 for right and left respectively)…

Doctor said my cornea has healed so well that its impossible to tell that I ever had a procedure…

happy days ahead….

Thank you sir for this blog post.. I know you are inundated with comments of nervous people, but please bear with us….

PRK definitely worth the wait… best decision I have made this year..

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