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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

1,356 replies on “My PRK Recovery Timeline”

I’m in day 6 after my PRK. I can relate to a lot that Alex is saying. My procedure was good, eyesight got better, no significant pain, then it got worse and I panicked, then it got good. Yesterday I had my lenses removed and the problems started – the dryness was extreme! It felt like gravel was poured in my both eyes and the drops were brining me little to no relief. It got so bad I couldn’t function and I relate to what another commenter was saying – the discomfort was so great I became borderline suicidal – I didn’t know dry eye could make you think that way- and I went through two spine surgeries and considered my pain threshold quite high.
I went back for an emergency consult and got one lens back in my left eye – I don’t know what they did, but the extreme dryness went away. However, I went to sleep and woke up with regressed and blurry vision of day 2-3.
On one hand these comments are giving me hope, but I’m honestly terrified and regret ever doing this.

Anna, Day 6 is very early. I couldn’t drive until the 6-week mark, and that was probably too early. I extensively blogged both my original procedure as well as the enhancement I did on one eye. Free free to check out my experience.

Thanks Jim, I’ll make sure to read about your journey. I guess at this point I’m in a rather precarious mental state and looking for someone to comfort me and tell me it will get better. I’ve always been prone to anxiety and now I’m just really scared.

Anna, a few things:

1) I don’t think your doctor gave you very accurate expectations. At a minimum, you won’t have very good vision for at least 4-6 weeks. For me, I don’t think I got “good” vision until like week 10.

2) Don’t be afraid to do preservative-free drops on like the hour. I used them constantly.

3) If you’re ever feeling down, there are people here who will listen and share their stories with you. I had my first PRK last October (maybe Sept), and I still think I’m getting gradual improvement. With my enhancement on one eye in March, I’m still improving almost three months later.

4) PRK will test your patience. I’m not a particularly patient person and that has been hard. But, it will no doubt get better, and if you need an enhancement, so be it. It is a reality for like 20% of people.

Thanks again Jim!
It’s my day 8 today and my eye test results actually qualify me for driving –
I don’t think this should be the case and I’ll definitely wait a bit longer.
The dryness is now minimal and manageable and I was able to watch a movie with subtitles yesterday!
I’ve been noticing some fluctuations in my vision throughout the day and during my post op checkup today I’ve been told that was normal and that my vision will continue improving for the next couple of weeks.
I was advised to use cheap reading glasses for the next couple of weeks so it’s easier for me to work with a computer (I’m going back to work after this weekend) and that in a couple of weeks I shouldn’t need them anymore.
Overall, I feel more hopeful today and I wanted to thank everyone for support.

Sending warm hugs and encouragement to you Anna. I continued to have less than 20/20 Visio in April. This month I finally was able to get contacts, & progressive lens for my glasses. Now, with corrective lens I can see 20/20. I do see halos at night but I can drive at night. I’m thankful!! It will be a year August since I started the treatments for cataracts & then PRK in November.

I had PRK on both eyes November 20,2020. I continue to have blurry vision, don’t drive at night, & have halos. My vision appointments are now every 4 weeks & I only use the Eye chart to determine if & how my vision has improved. I see my retina doctor today to evaluate my next 2 procedures. Laser surgery to clear up the blurry vision in both eyes. I may still need glasses for driving and that will be fine. I just want my vision & my life back. I’m thankful I’m retired because I couldn’t have returned to my work now or even in December 2020.

Alex, I want to thank you for the original post, as well as keeping this going for so long. I had PRK 15 weeks ago. Your blog, and a few others inspired me to keep a journal of my own journey.

I am one of the people who had a longer recovery, and I’m still not out of the woods yet. I was losing my mind at 4-6 weeks. One eye great at 8 weeks, the other still working on healing at 15 weeks.

For those of you out looking for answers. Constantly googling, scouring reddit, and feeling regret. This blog is one of the best. I’ve shared my journey as well, if you want some more week by week recovery.

Stay strong.

I am 10 days out and reading this really helped me feel less alone about things. Everyone assumes PRK is more like lasik with the short recovery time and its tough to not feel like things are perfect. 10 days out and still have that blurriness/cloudiness you kept mentioning. I can see and drive but it doesnt have that sharpness. It was nice to hear someone else that sounds like was on a similar timeline to me.

I will say post immediate surgery when the anesthesia wore off I was in immense pain. From about 4-20 hours post surgery i couldnt escape a dark room and basically needed my eyes completely shut. The actual pain went away by Sunday (surgery was friday afternoon) and left with just general discomfort for another 2 days or so.

Oh my lanta. It’s exactly like my recovery. I’m on day 10 right now. I’m 20/40 in one eye and like 20/60-20/80 in the other. Super blurry still. It’s reassuring to read this comments! Also day two and three were awful for me as well. In a dark room trying to sleep through as much of the pain and disc as possible.

Hi. I recently got PRK. I read blogs and watched youtube videos beforehand. I had prepared myself to be in a world full of pain. To my surprise, I felt no pain or discomfort at all, I couldn’t help but think maybe it wasn’t done correctly. So after finding your blog, I was relieved that I’m not the only lucky one to be pain free. I am now looking forward for my vision to improve :)

Hi All. I am 31 and I had PRK 6 days ago for pretty substantial nearsightedness (-7.0) in both eyes. I had to get PRK over LASIK due to having very thin corneas (on the order of 470 microns which is very very thin). Reading these accounts have given me some hope (and also disappointment). I also wanted to share my experience so far. The procedure itself was great – painless, a little uncomfortable but not too bad. My vision immediately was improved after the surgery but that isn’t difficult considering what I started with! I had taken a Valium for the procedure and then took a Norco afterward, had my husband take me to the pharmacy to get my rxs filled, and went home. As soon as the numbing eye drops wore off, I was in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced… and I’ve had a baby. My eyes felt like someone was pouring corrosive chemicals into them. I screamed and thrashed in my bed for hours, begging my husband to just off me and had him call the doctor to ask what else could be done. They just reassured him that it was normal to feel discomfort considering what they did, and to use cold compresses and just keep using the drops. They also suggested I take Benedryl to try and help itchiness and sleep. I remember screaming to my husband that I didn’t know how anybody could sleep with the pain I was experiencing. I was basically delirious with pain for the next two days, only setting alarms to take my pain medications and drops and spending the rest of the time in bed. I had my first post op check the day after, and they said everything looked fine, put some numbing drops in for pity, and told me to come back in 4 days.
On the third day I was in slightly less pain but still had to sit in the dark. My vision was still very blurry but it honestly wasn’t even a concern considering the pain I was going through.
On the morning of day 4 I was still in pain upon waking, but after a few hours I suddenly wasn’t in pain. My eyes just felt like they had hairs or sand in them. Still very blurry and light sensitive, but I was able to watch a little bit of TV with sunglasses on and actually spend time with my two year old daughter who was probably wondering what was wrong with mommy.
Day 5 (yesterday) I woke up feeling pretty good. My eyes were sensitive but not painful, which was a first. I also finally started eating again, as the pain had zapped my appetite completely and I had lost 8 lbs over the previous few days. I had my 5 day check up where the doctor said everything looked like it was healing well. I then tried to go back to work, as I was told I would likely be able to work at a limited capacity by that Monday. My job is almost 100% computer based and involves a lot of reading and writing. I hobbled through the day but had a really hard time looking at my laptop screen. My vision was blurry but fluctuating and I was able to read if I sat really close to the screen (bad idea). Last night my eyes were very painful and tired and I was getting bright flashes of light whenever I closed them.
This morning (Day 6) I woke up in pain again and had to call out sick again. I’m laying in the dark right now with cold clothes on my eyes.

I don’t know how I feel about having this surgery yet. I don’t think I will regret it but I also wish I would have known the recovery time would be this long and painful. I know it’s not that way for everybody reading other peoples accounts but it has been the case for me. My vision is still blurry obviously but it is better than it was without glasses. I’m optimistic that it will improve. However I am worried about the discomfort and sensitivity I’m experiencing. At this point I can’t even look to the horizon (or in the mirror) because it is painful if I’m not looking downward. There is no way in hell that I would be able to drive, even now, and luckily I’m able to telework most days at the moment. I’m not sure when I will be able to drive again. I actually was looking into trying to get FMLA or even disability accommodations for this last night because I fear this is going to make performing my job difficult for some time.

I am four days out after having PRK and am resonating with your post and some of the experiences you’ve mentioned here. I was expecting pain, and like to think I have a higher pain threshold, but could hardly keep it together days 2-3, which I know are supposed to be the hardest. I was told by the office when I called after an unbearable night to use cold compresses, which I have already been doing, and to use the Toradol drops which I’ve been using as instructed. I have work scheduled a week out after surgery and feel that recovery will likely take much, much longer. I can’t imagine looking at a computer for any sustained period of time, or safely driving. The font size is all the way up on my phone and I look at it minimally. I understand everyone heals at a different pace and I am encouraged by those that are having positive experiences and hope this isn’t predictive of my entire healing process ahead. I regret the doctor informing me that a week should be enough time to return to work; I’m already feeling anxious about that timeline. I can’t even leave my house and all the shades are drawn. I still don’t regret my decision but this has been rough.

My surgery was around 6 weeks ago. My eyes are still blurry and I feel they get worse as the day goes on. I’m a bit scared but as I read this it seems to be pretty normal. Someone experienced that aswell? I need to take eye drops for two more weeks and then I’m done hopefully

that sounds about right for week 6, based on my experience. Mine got worse as the day went on for the first 3 months or so with little to no changes after months 4 or 5. Make sure to give them plenty of rest. I’m 1.5 years past prk. My right eye stopped improving after 20/30 (astigmatism still pretty evident) left eye is still 20/20. It slowly gets better. I noticed during recovery that my vision quality each day had to do with how dry and tired my eyes were. I still have slight light sensitivity, but it’s never a problem with sun glasses. Dryness went away after month 7 or 8 for me but it slowly improved each month up until that point. Stick with it and follow all directions from the doctor as perfectly as you can. Though I never achieved the 20/20, My quality of life has improved tremendously. I can now say it was worth every penny and every day of the recovery.

Sounds good. My doc said after my last meeting with him that he is sure I iell get 20 20 vision. I’m using a lot of eye drops to keep my eyes from drying out. I’m working on the pc alot so that’s pretty counter productive for my eyes I guess? Like 4 to 5 hours a day. I hope it doesn’t make it worse at the end. If the recovery takes a year and it’s fine after that it’s all good.

My surgery was almost a year ago(year follow up coming early August). I experience this as well. I’m perfectly clear this morning as I type this but by the end of the day my eyes get dry and slightly blurry. Digital clocks in my kitchen are still slightly blurry as well(even in morning when eyes aren’t dry). As I said in previous posts on here I can tilt my head and look over the dryness and see perfectly but still waiting patiently after a little less than a year to be 100% perfect all the time. I’m confident I’m just a slow recovery. Doc said at 6 months nothing to worry about and said at a year if I wanted to I could get that dry layer “scraped” off which I will not pursue but the option is there. Good luck!

I had my PRK done on march 7 2016. I was told by my surgeon that it would take 3 months for the eye to develop clear vision. However, my concerns grew as it had been more than 6 months and I experienced ghosting at night (reference picture attached ). For example, when I focused my eyes on a traffic light or a street light particularly, it appeared to have a stretched image. 

Fast forward to today, I visited another doctor as the issue has been persistent till date!
Itrace examination was conducted ( Pic attached with obesrvations) and have also been advised my vision in both eyes has changed since the procedure ( Pic attached )

The Doc has recommended a second PRK with contoura in the left eye. I’m extremely apprehensive and scared with post OP complications this time 

Is there anyone out there as unfortunate as me?

I had PRK done about 3 months ago and have seen little to no improvement. Needless to say, I am concerned. I originally had Lasik done on both eyes. My right eye was corrected for distance and turned out excellent. The left was corrected for near-vision and regressed quickly- needing a touch-up 2 years later. My doctor recommended PRK and now you’re up to speed. I decided to add to the timeline to hear similar stories about loooong healing times.
Week 1: Contact in, my vision looked crisp at very close distance. I used drops as directed.
Week 2: Had the contact removed, my range of crisp vision started to close quickly. Still used drops.
Week 3- Month 3: Blurry vision this entire time. I had the misfortune of having my surgery just before Covi-19 outbreak, so I haven’t seen my doctor for two and a half months. If I put liquid tears in, I see sort of crisp- just for a few minutes and then the blurriness returns.

Thanks for reading and anyone who has had similar stories that turn out positive, please let me know.

Hey everyone
I got PRK in June 2018. My left eye is great. However, my right eye vision is blurry. It comes and goes. Currently wearing a contact lens for the right. But even with the contact lens it’s blurry (sometimes). My doctor said it’s still healing. Is that still possible? Because at this time I am suffering from migraines.

I got it done on Jan 23. My right eye is also still very blurry compared to the the left. I know I haven’t had as much time pass as you have but I’m finding this to be so annoying. Hope it gets better for both of us.

I wish there was an easy way to scroll previous postings to get an idea when that right eye finally came around?

My right eye came around about 2 weeks after I posted that! It’s been just over 2 months for me and I’m at 20/20 in both eyes. My right does not bother me at all anymore. I’m also off the steroid drops now.

Hi all, I had my prk (right eye done about a month ago. My right eye has cleared up since post surgery day 2 but I’ve been seeing blur vision till now. I completed my post 1 month OP and dr said that I have 0 myopia but 1.75 astigmatism left. Previously it was 2.5. Anyone else with high astigmatism and hows the recovery? It stresses me because I’m fearing this might be it and I may need an enhancement! :( i had lasik for my left and it has been crystal clear since post op day 1.

It’s been 5 weeks since my PRK, have been reading this post and comments for a few weeks, it gives me confidence that my sight will improve. Can sense significant difference in vision between my left and right eye, to the point where I feel my eyes are fighting each other. I think my right eye is currently dominant but also blurrier and my brain knows my left eye can see better and is trying to switch over or something. Reading anything up close – on a screen or book just feels draining. Anyone else ever felt like this?

I too have some significant difference in both eyes and it’s been 5 weeks for me too. My left eye is totally carrying me. I’d be struggling hard if both eyes were as blurry as my right eye.

There seems to be many comments about issues with the right eye being blurry and the left clear. I wonder if it has something to do with the right eye being in most cases the dominant eye?

Interesting observation Mervin, wonder why the dominant eye takes longer to recover. It’s been 12 weeks since my PRK now, and my eyes have stopped fighting, I think that lasted for for about 2 weeks, almost drove me crazy. Still waiting on the perfect crisp vision, and noticeably blurrier vision with the right eye, sigh!

Thank you for the reply Rubina! It’s comforting to know other people struggle with the same issues as I. I believe in time it all comes together and we just need to be patient. Take care.

thank you Paul for the very informative blog. I’m approaching six months after the surgery. in a recent appointment with a doctor he stated that my eyes were still scarred/hazed. I’m so worried that it’s been six months since my eyesight should have healed. does anyone have experience like me? What should i do?

I am approaching 6 months post PRK and still not 100% clear. My left eye is about 100% but my right is significantly worse. The weird thing is I can “look over” the blurriness if I tilt my head down and look at what I am trying to see its 100% clear in both eyes which gives me confidence I am just slowly healing and still blurry in the center of my vision. My doc said at 3 months he could see the dryness was worse in my right eye which explained why it is worse visionwise and had no concerns. I go to my 6 month follow up next week, I guess I will see what he says when I fail my vision test again in my right eye. Left eye is near perfect like I said. Things that are more difficult to see clearly are reflective road signs at night, the tv guide on tv, and florescent lights seem to make my vision fuzzy.

Anyone else experience being able to “look over” their blurry vision by tilting their head? or worse vision in certain lighting like florescent lights?

Holy crap I just tried this “looking over” technique and it actually works! Im probably going to be the youngest one in this thread with PRK but i started with -6.25 in my right and -7 in my left. Opted to have them done about a month apart from each-other which was probably a bad decision on my part. It has been almost 9 weeks since my left eye surgery & less than 2 weeks on my right eye. My right eye is SIGNIFICANTLY worse than my left & as recently as yesterday it feels like my left eye is being brought backwards due to the weakness of my right eye.

Yup, the look over technique def works for me. I read 20/20 in my left at my 6 month appt last week. Wasn’t perfectly crisp clear yet. My right eye I read 3 or 4 lines up from that barely. I then told the girl I could see clear when tilting my head and read the 20/20 line perfectly with my right eye with my head tilted down. Doc said everything is still all good and normal, just still healing slowly and has no concerns at all.

Im hoping my vision will clear up here shortly, its very frustrating not being able to see as sharply as I was when I wore glasses, yet it is refreshing to not need to rely on them to do everything. I’ll update on here again when my vision improves or anything drastic happens.

I’m at week 5. One eye is significantly worse than the other for me too. My other eye is doing pretty good for 5 weeks in I think but I worry about how they are healing at such different rates. Tilting doesn’t seem to work for me.

Hi Jonathan..hope ur eyes getting well properly. My doc ask me to continue with the new steroids but almost a month didn’t much improvement. In a week i’ll go back to my doc.

Thanks, I wish you luck as well. My doc was not at all concerned at my 3 month check up and could see more scarring in my right eye which is still the more blurry one. Said I was completely normal as far as healing. I don’t get too concerned as like I posted above, I can literally look over the blurriness(scar) and see perfectly clear. So this gives me hope that I am just SLOWLY healing and eventually will have perfectly clear vision once the scarring goes away. As I type this the screen is blurry but I can tilt my head down a little and look up at the screen and see perfectly clear if you understand what I am saying. I am interested to see if anyone else can do that?

Jonathan- I am in the same boat as you. I still have blurry vision 3m post op and I’m freaking out this is going to just be my life now. The only thing that gives me a glimmer of hope is exactly what you mentioned- I’d I look out the top or bottom of my eyes, I have nearly perfect clarity. But I’d look like an insane person walking around like that.

I, too, am hoping I’m just a super slow healer. So far, my dr isn’t worried either. I got temporary punctal plugs but don’t really notice much difference. Honestly, had I known my recovery would be this tough I wouldn’t have done it. I had 2 close friends get PRK and both were nearly perfect by 3 weeks.

Thanks for replying. I had the choice of PRK or Lasik and chose PRK(mainly because I’m active and didn’t want to worry about dislodging the flap somehow) and I too second guess that choice with how long it is taking to fully recover. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who can look past the blurriness. Next week at my check up I could def read 20/20 or better if I tilt my head down to read the chart. I really think it’s just the dryness causing it still. I try to use the preservative free drops to help but this time of year with cold weather and heat/defrost on in the car it’s rough. My eyes are clearer in the mornings compared to later in the day. Good luck and I hope you fully heal quicker than me. I don’t think I have improved since my 3 month checkup. Do you have perfect clarity in certain light? I do, outside on a cloudy or partly sunny day I can see perfect. But then I go inside to fluorescent light and the blurry comes back.

I would say I see better outside, but not perfect. Inside I always see blurry though. The dry air or something- flourescent lights make it even worse. My vision fluctuates so much. One day my right eye will be great and my left crap, the next day both are crap. The next day one eye phases in and out throughout the day. I am far from stable. I have yet to see good out of both eyes at the same time.
For several weeks my left was lagging big time and my right was getting close to good. Then I got allergy induced conjunctivitis from using preservative eye drops too much. I was put on a steroid/anti-inflammatory and now my left eye is doing much better and my right has regressed big time:

Such a frustrating process!!! Unfortunately I’ve already done lasik years ago so I was no longer a candidate for lasik again. I had a free “touch up” so I went ahead with PRK (my vision wasn’t that bad but I did need glasses). At this point, I wish I stuck with my glasses

It doesn’t seem to work for me but wondering if the vision in your blurry eye feels more 3-D if that makes sense? As I type this and look at the words one eye at a time, the words seem to pop out more in my blurry right eye. Maybe I’m focusing too hard and it becomes like those 3-D eye puzzles as a result?

I am approaching 6 months post PRK and still not 100% clear. My left eye is about 100% but my right is significantly worse. The weird thing is I can “look over” the blurriness if I tilt my head down and look at what I am trying to see its 100% clear in both eyes which gives me confidence I am just slowly healing and still blurry in the center of my vision. My doc said at 3 months he could see the dryness was worse in my right eye which explained why it is worse visionwise and had no concerns. I go to my 6 month follow up next week, I guess I will see what he says when I fail my vision test again in my right eye. Left eye is near perfect like I said. Things that are more difficult to see clearly are reflective road signs at night, the tv guide on tv, and florescent lights seem to make my vision fuzzy.

Anyone else experience being able to “look over” their blurry vision by tilting their head? or worse vision in certain lighting like florescent lights?

like darin’s comment below, i think lighting does affect vision. so that seems normal. but i personally haven’t experienced the “look over” vision you described.

I think it is weird how it works because I would think the whole eye moves together? but maybe there’s a thin layer that stays stationary? No clue but I def can see perfect “looking over” the scarred area. I have my 6 month appt in two days. Hoping the doc says I am still on the right track but just healing slowly. I might read the letters normally, then ask them to give me a new set of letters and cheat the second time tilting my head lol….

I am going on week 4 post PRK surgery. After day 4 of surgery up to the one week mark my left eye sees better than my right eye. For the second week my left eye got worse and my right eye vision was near perfect “right eye is the dominant”. On day 15 of the surgery I had the best vision, both eyes were good and my depth perception was perfect. I was happy that day, but unfortunately the following day my right eye sight started getting blurry, it got worse day by day for the 3rd week and going for the forth, will see my doctor in two days. But seriously I had near perfect vision by the second week and now I am getting a headache cause my dominant and always better even pre surgery eye is blurry. Frustrating.. and it does seem anyone has a similar experience here. Oh and I see halos star bursts and funny looking road signs at night. It hasn’t got better even a tiny bit.

Thanks for getting me through my first 2 months I read this as I went frequently to assure myself this was “normal”. I’m at 9 weeks now and my only complaint is driving the defrost (I live in MN and it’s winter) mixed with headlights and or sun light is almost unbearable for my eyes they try to force themselves shut. I pray this ends because it’s a miserable experience every day.

In everyone’s time line about their progress no one ever says that the lubricating drops clear their vision.

I had PRK one week ago. For about 5 mins after I apply lubricating drops my vision is crystal clear. Almost 20/20 but after 5-10 mins if I don’t add more drops, my eyes become blurry or hazy again.

Is this normal?

I am no doc but my guess is the dryness/scarred area is temporary lubricated enough to allow clear vision until it drys up again. Mine are like this as well..

i honestly don’t remember how long i used steroid drops for. however, from reading other comments, it wouldn’t surprise me if that varies depending on the person and how well they’re healing.

I believe I did the steroid drops for 20 days they included 2 bottles of them worth the surgery. You end up using artificial tears constantly though for quite awhile. It gets expensive.

Hi, Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m starting to get worried so I’m glad I found your post. I had surgery 2 weeks ago – Lasik surgery on my left eye, PRK on the right eye because of the scar. With my left eye, I can see clearly after few days, although it’s still a bit blurry I’m already on 20/12. But on the right eye, vision is still very blurry. I cannot read even if it’s near. I read that it will take few weeks to months to recover but is it normal that it’s so much worse than before when I’m still wearing eye glasses? I haven;t seen or felt any improvement since day 1. I hope I won’t regret having surgery.

I’m exactly in the same condition of you. I had surgery 20 days ago (PRK on both eyes). My left eye is very good, but vision is still so much blurry on the right eye. I had no improvement since the first surgery day!!! I’m really afraid about it.

I would be interested to know how you are doing now. I just had my PRK 29 days ago and I am having same concerns as you did about a month later

Hi Charles, vision on my right eye is much better now. I think it started to get better on the 4th week. I can now read what’s on the computer and plate numbers of the cars in front of me. It’s not yet as clear as my left eye but at least it’s not as blurry as when I wrote my first post. Believe those who said it takes time but it’ll be worth it. It’s also true that everyone’s recovery period is different. I will have my follow up check up next week, I will know what’s my right’s eye grade by then.

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