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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!

Overview

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

1,411 replies on “My PRK Recovery Timeline”

Thanks for sharing. I had my surgery 10 days ago and wasn’t feeling great about my progress, but I feel a little more “normal” after reading about your own healing process.( Patience has never been my strongest attribute.)

I had my PRK on 3/22 and light sensitivity is still a problem as well as when I move my eyes while driving (say to look at traffic from a yield). I get this uncomfortable feeling in the eye – sort of sharp scratchy sensation. Went for a checkup last Thursday and the Doctor said everything is healing good. Couldn’t tell me what that feeling was. Said they were just a little dry so maybe that was it. I’m hoping this goes away because it can be uncomfortable, especially driving. In everything I have read and viewed on you tube, I haven’t really heard anyone complain of this. Thanks Alex for your timeline.
It has been very helpful! I too was not told about how extensive the recovery would be. The office I went to was very nonchalont about the whole procedure.

I have done my PRK about 2.5 months ago but still my vision is 50% mark of 6/6.is it a concern for worry or usual.plz repkt

sometimes it does take longer. i would connect with your doctor and see what he/she says about your progress.

Hi Faisal,
Did your eyes just need more than usual time to heal and get clear?
I’m at 6 weeks and my vision is still about 50% and my doctor wasn’t very encouraging, said may not improve and that I may need corrective lenses.

Nothing about PRK recovery makes logical sense. I’m at day 13 today and while my vision on days 10 and 11 was relatively crisp (both near and far) now I notice that my right eye distance vision is blurry, and reading has become difficult (I’m 48 so it was expected). So there doesn’t seem to be a consistent timeline from blurry to crisp. Patience is definitely required.

Ugh, I was hoping you’d have a timeline for pain lol. I had PRK done as an enhancement surgery on 4/7 and I feel like ripping my eyes out. I had to call out of work this Saturday and lasted 3 hours before I left home on Sunday. Every time I have my eyes open it feels like I have sand and lashes in my eyes and sleep is the peace I get from it. Even typing this is painful. It’s the 16th and I’m scared. :(

i lucked out on the pain department and had very minimal pain. however, there have been other commenters that have also experienced pain but came through the recovery successfully. so there’s hope!

Sounds like the bandaid moved. That’s what it felt like for me. After they put a new one on, no more pain.

I’m now 8 weeks post PRK and still not perfect. It is getting better. It is probably still getting use to the monovision which I didn’t have when I had LASIK before, that was the reason I had the PRK . I think it takes longer. Sleep helps a lot.

Very nice blog and feedback. I am 2.5 months post PRK now and still waiting for the distance vision to get clear.

I had high hopes at my 1 week checkup before they removed the bandage lens since everything was very crisp at that time. Once they removed the bandage lens, distance vision was, and still is, blurry.

At the one month check, they said I was well ahead of schedule. LOL Doesn’t seem that way to me, but still hopeful.

The main question I have on the crisp distance vision is whether or not it is a gradual improvement, or all of the sudden it’s just better?

I still use artificial tears regularly, steroid drops now once/day, and Muro128 ointment every night.

We’ll see how the 3 month check goes. It would be nice if they can do some sort of a scan to see if the laser refraction is accurate and it’s just the healing process that is taking so long.

Thanks again.

honestly, i can’t remember how it was for me. if i had to take a guess though, it was more gradual.

Thank you for the post Alex. it’s been 26 days I had the surgery. I did not have the classical prk, I had wavefront guided prk instead. Still it’s hard to see far and the near, even the computer screen. I can read this with 150% zoom. I thought I have problems but seems like it is normal for now. I have doctor appointment next week thoug but still I was concerned. Reading your post made me a bit calmer at least.

Had an appointment in eye clinic 3 days ago, and looks like my eye was overcorrected. I have +1.00 astigmatism in the operated eye now, having had -1.25 astigmatism pre-op. Optometrist said that the vision will improve – will not probably reach plano, but might end up being close. I have my doubts…no change in vision since the end of week 4 post-op. 7 weeks post-op now…All blurry for near tasks and there is “ghosting”

I know this is an older post but I’m recovering from lasek right now (day 15) and I’m nervous about my recovery. Thanks for sharing your experience! It really helps me believe things will improve. Edit; nvm I see you answered my original question in another comment. Thanks for the info!

Blessings brother

Hi, thanks for your post, it’s very helpful. I had my PRK 11 days ago. I’ve noticed eyes are tired throughout the days and my vision is not as sharp as I expect. I can do daily function well like working, driving, etc. I am just worried if I am resting enough. I do look at computer screen and phone screen about 8 hours a day. I will have my second follow up in about a week. I hope this is normal and they will improve as time goes.

how often do you rest your eyes? part of your eyes being tired could be because they’re recovering and not necessarily because you’re overworking them.

i don’t know what the recommended ratio is, but i’d say give your eyes 5 minutes off for every 25 minutes on a computer, to me, that seems like a healthy amount of rest.

Thank you so much for your reply. I don’t feel too tired during the day but more at night. I realized my vision gets a little worse at night. I am at day 16 now and I just hope it will get better like that your timeline is. I will try keep your advice in mind :)
Thanks!

I have a question. When did you allow water to hit your eyes in the shower? I am being cautious with that. I had my PRK done 9 days ago. By the way, great timeline! It matches what I am experiencing so far! Thank you!

honestly, i’m not sure. probably awhile later because i hardly ever let water into my eyes (even when showering).

this might be a question for your doctor since i’m not sure if water in your eyes could adversely affect healing. i doubt it. but wouldn’t hurt to double check.

I just had PRK on my left eye for monovision on February 22. I had regular lasik about 10 years ago. So that was my only option. I had -1..5 and it didn’t cause me any pain, until the bandaid moved. They put a new one on and all went well. I just got over the disoriented feeling today. She said that was because of how good my eyes still were from the lasik. Still blurry but getting better. Reading books is harder than using a computer. Another fact some might find interesting. Girls have more problems with dry eyes so they take longer to actually heal. I’m glad I found this blog because I was starting to worry.

Thank you for your post. I too had regular lasik about 10 years ago and just had PRK on my right eye. I got monovision (to enhance reading/computer/newpaper clarity) about 10 days ago. Both my right and left eye were still 20/20 but I didn’t want to wear reading glasses. I know what you mean re the “disoriented feeling” I feel at times. I will be following your progress and hope everything turns out all right for you.

Does anybody regret doing this surgery? Bc I’m 6 days in and I’m kinda freaking out about ppl saying it’s still blurry 2-10 weeks out

I’m about 5 days out and feel that same. From the stories Ive read, everyone I’d happy with their results. I do wish I’d done more research before committing to the surgery. I was not warned or aware just how long recovery would be, and like most people, my job is at a computer :/ good luck to you!

it’s easy to regret the surgery when you’re in the thick of recovery. however, it seems a large majority of people are happy with their final results.

but it is surprising how many people are not told how long recovery will take before undergoing the surgery. i’m thankful i did research before saying yes, so i had a healthy expectation going into it.

i can’t imagine what it’s like for some of you who found this post _after_ your surgery.

I don’t mind how long it takes to heal but I”m concerned about the end results. If the results were guaranteed I wouldn’t mind waiting weeks (or months) but it’s the not knowing of whether things will turn out that scares me. Gotta have faith.

I’m with you! I got LASIK in 2001 and now PRK 14 days ago and I am hoping I don’t regret the final result. I was happier before the surgery I can tell you that much. Right now I am worried I may never see clearly again. Everything is so blurry. I can only hope for the best, it’s in GOD’s hands now.

I had lasik 15 years ago on both eyes. I just had PRK done on my left eye and I am 9 days into recovery and still blury and double vision. Concerned is an understatement and am having the feeling that I shouldn’t have done this. I wish they would have explained how long the recovery process was before hand. The thought of never seeing again out of my left eye is scary.

Hi Matt, On the chance that you see this, can you give an update? I’m almost 1 month post-op and my left eye is seriously lagging. My right eye is a little behind where it “should” be, but it’s at about 20/25. The dr. said I’m a “slow healer” but I just need hope that this won’t last forever. It’s an improvement compared to pre=PRK, but I am only 20/40 in my left eye and it is very frustrating.

Well today I have just completed my 6th Week (surprisingly felt like I was further than that), for me vision started getting workable and less blatantly blurry around the 3 week mark.

Right eye looks like like its very close to the 20/20 stage and sharpness/crispness also looks like its nearly there.

My left is the problem child right now, while still a massive improvement from before the surgery it is a noticeable difference compared to the right maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the sharpness/crispness. Still makes me worried. The concern of over/under correction is always there.

Read somewhere that the Waveform PRK is pretty hard to mess up though because the machine determines the refractive error when it shines the light into your eye pre-op, then the Excimer Laser does the rest on the day of surgery.

So hopefully its just my left eye being a slow healer, 6 weeks is still pretty early compared to what I have read and been told about the PRK recovery process (people are still seeing improvements of up to a year after the surgery!). I have 2 weeks before my 2 month checkup, so will see what my doc has to say.

Hi Bryan,
On the chance that you see this, can you give an update? I’m almost 1 month post-op and my left eye is seriously lagging. My right eye is a little behind where it “should” be, but it’s at about 20/25. The dr. said I’m a “slow healer” but I just need hope that this won’t last forever. It’s an improvement compared to pre=PRK, but I am only 20/40 in my left eye and it is very frustrating.

Hi Madison,
It roughly took me about 2 Months for my recovery.

I went from
Right: -3.75 / -0.75
Left: -2.50 / – 1.00

To
Right: +0.25 / -0.25
Left: 0.00 / -0.25

My right, I think the over correction of 0.25 is equalized by the -0.25 astigmatism, so it is somewhat pretty clear for my distance viewing.

My left with the -0.25 from the astigmatism does show me a difference when comparing to my right. It is slightly blurred at a distance and I am unable to clearly read number plates at a distance compared to my right.

My Dr. told me that it is normal to not have my eyes exactly the same and that as a person you don’t go walking around with your left eye closed then swap to your right. You look with both eyes open.

All in all, I am satisfied with the results even though not as perfect as I would have liked them to be. Comparing to pre-op this is a life changer. I do not use glasses at all anymore which was my primary objective for the surgery.

I may look at the surgery again in a year or two, to see if I can get my left even better than what it is and to touch up the right if it is needed.

The scariest thing is the hazy/cloudy vision that gets progressively worse throughout the day. Use lots of eye drops (I use Visi Tears) to keep them hydrated. It does get better, but it is a lengthy wait. Your patience will be tested.

I am eight days out. Had the surgery April 14. I am definitely freaking out. I can’t even back out of my driveway much less drive anywhere. And, I have to go to work tomorrow as a dental hygienist! Right now I feel like I’m never going to be able to see again. I expressed to my doctor at my postop appointment that I really think they should be honest with people about the recovery taking possibly several weeks ( they had told me I’d be able to drive myself to my postop appointment five days after the surgery ) before you can really see and feel comfortable to do things. I thought I’d be able to see the week after, not perfect but see something. I can barely walk through my home much less do anything else.

On the chance that you see this, can you give an update? I’m at a computer most days as well – trying to take breaks but it’s hard when this is my job. I’m almost 1 month post-op and my left eye is seriously lagging. My right eye is a little behind where it “should” be, but it’s at about 20/25. The dr. said I’m a “slow healer” but I just need hope that this won’t last forever. It’s an improvement compared to pre=PRK, but I am only 20/40 in my left eye and it is very frustrating.

I feel the same way this is my 14th day and its worse than it was before my surgery. I can not read license plates, street signs, or my cell phone very well. Its hard to see what im typing right now as its super blurry. I hope and pray to GOD this gets better. It is freaking me out.

I did the same thing, only I just had my left eye done for monovision. Big difference other than LASIK, huh? LASIK really is just in and out. I was freaking out, too. That’s how I found this website. I bookmarked it. Today ends my week 5 and most of the time it is clear, but since I don’t get much sleep, I think it’s taking longer to stabilize. At night it gets hard to watch movies. It has ups and downs. My doctor said that since my LASIK was still so good it will take it longer to stabilize. My next appointment is next friday. We’ll see if it’s going as she expected.

I am scheduled next month to have my right eye corrected with PRK since i had LASIK in 2004. How did that affect you during the day? I assume that since i still can see good with my left it will be ok. Can you give me an idea on how it was? I work in IT and need to be on my computer all day. I cant take more than 2 days off.

are you taking any supplements? I bought some fish oil, lutein, and vitamin C. My boyfriend just got his done today and from other peoples comments its really helped them with recover :)

I had to have PRK done on my left eye because I had lasik done 15 years ago. My surgery date was March 23rd and I finally got my eye sight back April 18th. I was totally freaked out when all I could see was double vision and blury for a Month. I was starting to regret having it done but after a Month I can again crispy clear. For those of you freaking out just wait it takes 3 to 4 weeks before you can see normal again

I had LASIK in 2001, and had a PRK procedure on my left eye 6 weeks ago to correct -1.25 astigmatism. Still blurry vision, lack of crispness in the operated eye, especially for near tasks. Vision fluctuates a bit but relatively consistent (blurry) during last few weeks, still certainly worse off than I was before the procedure. Going for next follow-up with eye clinic in 3 days, and will ask whether recovery time for LASIKed eyes is longer when preforming PRK. My expectation was to be at least not worse off than before procedure at this point.
Adam, how do your eyes feel now? Any good news?

Hi Adam, I hope you can read this. How are you now? I feel the same way you felt a year ago and it’s really starting to scare me now. It’s my 15th day post op.

I had my PRK on 2/19/18. I went back to work on 2/25/18 with approval from my Dr. Contact lens was removed earlier that day. I work the night shift as a nurse, my vision was very clouded and really had to squint to perform my job. I am told this is normal, and that it will improve. Very glad to see the all the posts re all the different issues with PRK. hopeful I will have same outcome as Alex.

I just had my PRK done on 2/22/18… and I am still not back to work and it’s day six. I still don’t see very well and it’s cloudy/ blurry. I drive a truck all day so I am concerned about driving I really hope my vision clears up quickly.

I had PRK on 2/20/2018 and just returned to work on 2/27. Still blurry here too, even called a couple kids the wrong names at school! Oops! The blurry gives me headaches that don’t go away with medication. Just holding out for the days when it is crisp and clear! Can’t wait!

I also have headaches, daily, but motrin seems to help along with the saline eye drops. I use them while awake, every 1/2 to every hour.. Can’t wait for crisp and clear either!

Hey Alex,
Thank you so much for this awesome and detailed review. I’m 26 years old and I had a prescription of -3.25 in my left eye and -3.00 in my right eye. I had surgery done at TLC on Yonge and Eglinton on February 16, 2018. I’m currently on Day 9 and although I can see way farther than I ever did without glasses, it’s all pretty blurry. Including things up close. Almost feels like you are looking through a pair of dirty glasses. I can function around the house without a problem but it’s a little awkward going out. I’m still not driving although the Doc says I’m 20/40, I just don’t feel comfortable because I lack a lot of crispness/clarity. I go back to work on Day 13. My job requires me to see well up close so we’ll see how that goes… I did not know the recovery would be this lengthy, it’s kind of annoying, sigh… However I’m just glad I’m not in pain anymore. My recovery has been pretty much same as yours except it seems you have a way higher pain tolerance than I do. Day 2 and Day 3 I felt like I was bleeding from my eyeballs (obviously not actually) and the burning was so bad I couldn’t open my eyes for more than a couple seconds. I also saw really well right after the surgery and it gives me hope that is what I will heal to. I’m trying to be parient and trust the progress… :)

whoa! hopefully you’re past the “bleeding from your eyeballs” stage. hope you continue following my healing path to a perfect recovery!

I’m glad (not really) that I’m not the only one who felt like I was bleeding from my eyeballs and someone had set it on fire the second day after PRK. It was horrible. The tears ran all day (along with the snot). The eye is so dry it feels like sand is in it, even though I was using drops every 15 minutes. I’m 3 weeks out with the PRK. I had Lasik 15 years ago. Easy Peasy! This time I had PRK on the right eye. I have mono vision. The right eye is for up close. I work on a computer all day. I am really struggling being able to read it. It is so blurry. I am really scared because as everyone else is saying, I don’t think my doctor stressed enough to get it across how long the healing or seeing would take. If it all turns out well months from now, I guess it will be worth it. But the fear of the unknown is making me so worried. Good luck with your recovery.

Tammy, I am in the same boat as you, i.e. I too had PRK on the right eye. I have mono vision. The right eye is for up close. I work on a computer all day.” It’s been about 10 days so I am going to not panic and give it some more time. Please keep us posted; I’ll do the same. Talk Later – Brian

Note: Let me add the fact that I also had regular lasik about 10-15 years ago and saw 20/20 in each.

Great to hear – thank you! I just had PRK and am on day 10 post op. My vision is fluctuating quite a bit (especially in my left eye which had a higher level astigmatism). I am praying for crisp/clear vision and no night effects. Right now, I am experiencing both fluctuating levels of vision/crispness and nighttime light issues. It is stressful not knowing with certainty if this is temporary (par for the course) or if there was an issue with the surgery. Your timeline is comforting!

Day 15 right now. I’m on the same page as you. Left eye is really blurry. Can’t read almost anything and having double vision. Looking forward to clear vision.

I am so happy I found this blog. It’s so re-assuring to read that what I am going through is normal. I had PRK on January 25th and my vision is still blurry and not crisp like it was with contacts and I do notice that some days are better than others. Thank you for posting this.

hi lisa, how does it feel now..i will have my prk surgery on 23rd feb, hope it goes well..any advice good advice for me?

my biggest advice is to follow your doctors instructions. use the eye drops as instructed. and rest your eyes. don’t try to push them too hard by reading or using a computer too much. if you do have to do those things, take frequent eye breaks.

and finally, be patient. that’s the key. don’t get discouraged if your eyesight regresses, that’s normal.

thanks alex for the list of advice, i will bear in my mind that, the main ingredient is “be patient”….i will try to update my progress once i have go through the surgery, for the benefits of others.

So glad I found this blog! It’s been very helpful! So I have a question. I am on day six and am having the lens removed today. I was wondering the procedure is painful? Also wondering if there is any pain following the lens removal? I appreciate any input.

super painless and quick. it’s just removing a contact lens! i do remember some regression in vision after they removed the lens, but no pain.

Thanks for this write up, I am having the same “computer screen is hard to read” experience you had. I am on week 3 now, driving at night is good, i was able to do this on day 7. I was worried because I feel like eyes are regressing last day or two, but that seems to be normal in the first couple of months so thats ok.

I was -6 in borh, now i can function without glasses, so not gunna complain too much lol.

also I know this isn’t supposed to help your vision for reading close up but this has made mine so much worse : (

Hi HELP I had PKR early sept and I’m so not happy . Things are still blurry they say my vision is 20/25 but its not crisp clear – things still look double… nighttime its the worse – orbs still and honestly the weirdest thing is peoples faces – since I’m seeing double with somethings there faces look distorted someone standing 10 feet away from me – I’m so upset is this going to get better – I’m afraid to even think about another procedure – I had no issues with regular lasik

To wait 6 months. And that my eyes are really dry. I’m still using drops. But it’s bs. I really think it just made my eyes worse the PRK. ?

I had my PRK done 5 weeks ago, vision is about 0.75 worse on both eyes than before the surgery! I did mine at Lasik. I regret the day i ever set foot in that clinic. The head surgeon is telling me that i’ll likely have to wear glasses still, because it shouldn’t be worse than it it was before. They’re supposedly going to give me a refund if that’s the case. But this sucks so much!

Thanks so much for your blog. I am on day 8 after PRK and I am not liking the results. But I am glad to hear it keeps getting better. I was apparently on the cusp of lasik and I wish I had read more on PRK before getting it. The recovery and light sensitivity this first week were not what I was told about.

Hi all,
I’m 24 and I’ve had PRK almost 3 months ago.
On one eye I see very good, on the other one not as good.
Will it improve? I’m afraid I’m having a regression or some sort.. (or that I’ll need a correction).
Plus, my eyes are still quite dry; I use drops every day. Should I try to wean off my eyes from the drops and let them try to produce tears on their own, or should I just keep using the drops and hope it’ll get better soon?
Last but not least – Ever since the operation, at night (9PM ~) I feel like my eyes are heavy, hot, tired (however you want to call it), and it makes me just want to call it a day, and go to sleep (and in the morning after, this sensation resets, until the evening comes) is there anyone here who’s having the same symptoms?
Thanks!

keep using the drops as long as the doctor tells you. i wouldn’t recommend going off them prematurely as they really help with lubrication (and in return, healing).

and while all PRK recovery is so variable, it’s not uncommon to feel like your eyes are regressing during the healing process. so what you’re describing sounds normal. same with your eyes feeling tired at night.

i felt that once or twice. maybe not as recurring as yours, but a similar feeling.

since you’re experiencing it regularly, maybe that means you’re overextending your eyes during the day? see if you can do things to reduce strain on your eyes. avoid computers/screens (or make the resolution larger). take frequent breaks to close and rest your eyes, etc.

Hi,
I’m down to 2-3 times a day of lubrication (one in the morning is a must!). I did a dry eye test a month ago and it showed that my eyes aren’t dry at all, and yet whenever I lubricate them I feel better, so I don’t know what to think…
Also, I still don’t see perfect with one of my eyes – I wonder if it’s ever going to improve.
And regarding the tiredness sensation at evenings – it still persists, less than before though.
I hope I’ll be fully healed someday, because it’ll be hard for me to make peace with the current situation…

Thank you so much for this blog! I had PRK 3 weeks ago(24 days to be exact). Your timeline kept me from completely losing my mind! My distance vision is still a work in progress. I had no idea the recovery would take this long. I found your blog on about day 5, and it has been my PRK bible through these frustrating weeks of “blindness”. I am confident that I will get the vision I was hoping for! Thank you so much Alex!

10 years ago, I had PRK performed on both eyes at the age of 40. In the immediate few days that followed, my eyes burned like I had never felt before. It reminded me of having sand in my eyes and washing it out with chlorine water. After a few days, my eyes calmed down a bit. As far as my vision is concerned, I wore very thick glasses before surgery. After PRK, my vision was better than it was before surgery (uncorrected) but my vision was still blurry and I could not drive at all. 5-7 days after PRK surgery, my vision cleared up and I achieved 20/20 in both eyes. My eyes were very sensitive to sunlight for about 3-4 weeks and I wore sunglasses even at work at the office.
Over the summer, I noticed a vision problem in my left eye. It turns out that I had a condition called “PRK Haze” which is scarring on the cornea resulting from the PRK procedure. It is a common complication that occurs in some cases. I had the scarring corrected and after healing was completed my vision was re-tested and it was around 20/50 in my left eye. This suggests that the refractory error in my left eye had returned to some degree. I scheduled another PRK surgery for the left eye.
A few weeks ago, I had another PRK surgery. The time under the laser was very brief and my recovery was much more pleasant compared to 10 years ago. I had no pain and little itching. My vision is getting better little by little but I am not experiencing the same speedy recovery and perfect vision that I did 10 years ago. So it looks like this is going to take a while. But from reading this post and others, my experience right now is about average.

Thanks á lot Alex for the detailed recovery timeline! I just had my TransPRK surgery yesterday and I feel a lot better after reading through your blog post! Thanks again :)

Good read. Had PRK 2 weeks ago and getting discouraged with the blurriness. I hope in a week or so It will start sharpening up like yours did.

Hello my name it’s gladis , I’m so worry , I had PRK last Thursday,it’s been 9 days already and my vision hasn’t improved, I’m very worry about that , I see a lot blurry and doble visión , the doctor already removed my bandage eye contacts off .. any advice I would really appreciated.????

really the best advice is to just be patient. i know it can be nerve-racking since it’s your eyes, but that’s the best bet. this procedure doesn’t have a quick recovery like LASIK. so be patient, and don’t over work your eyes by trying to read or use a computer too much.

Hi Alex, I’m on 1 week. It seems like I’m constantly blurry with no improvements and then I’ll get a moment of clarity. UGHHH. It’s nerve racking. I was -12 in both eyes, so I know it’s maybe a lil different for my recovery.

I can’ drive yet. I’m going crazy :)

My eye sight is about that bad with a stigmatisim also. I go Monday for my consult and next Saturday for surgery. Please keep me updated on your progress.

So when the vision came to in the 3rd week…did u wake up and it was suddenly clear?? Or did your clarity come gradually?? Thanks

Im at week 3 and things are still blurry…every once in a while I get moments of clarity…I still have a ways huh?? Hehe

Hey Alex,
Thank you for the article. I had PRK about a month ago and was pretty anxious before reading this. Now I’m confident the recovery process is going well.

Alex, thank you so much for this! I had PRK 19 days ago; I had to count but I knew I was approaching the 3 week mark. I feel the doctors and even some people in the office made it seem like it was nothing and vision is repaired to perfect in just 3-5 days. Ugh, not the case here. I can relate to everything that you said. My vision is still blurry (my right eye being the one that’s the blurriest; I account that to the eye having the astigmatism). I keep thinking my vision is going to be stuck like this, and this is as good as it is going to get. I get married in November and just want to be able to see my finances expression from the back of the aisle. You have given me hope that it will get better, but just takes ( a lot of) time. Thank you!

congrats on the engagement! if things progress as they did for me, you should be able to see your fiance clearly on your wedding day!

One eye healed for me after 4 months, the other one’s vision is STILL not that great and its been 8 months :( so frustrating. Im at a point of not being sure if I need another corrective surgery or just more time to heal. Also, my doctor isn’t responsive at all.

sorry to hear that. i would definitely keep bothering your doctor until he/she responds. or i know a lot of doctors will do free consultations for PRK. maybe try another doctor and see what they say about corrective surgery?

After the 1st week, did you see blurry when using computers or reading books? Had you ever thought that you will need an reading glasses in the 2nd week?

yeah, my vision was still blurry after the first week. i would’ve still needed glasses to be able to see things sharply that soon after surgery.

Had prk surgery 8 months ago.It hurt like hell.Also have to redew it.Night vision horrible.Also one of the worst parts my eyes still don’t reproduce tears.I hope I won’t use drops forever wish I didn’t do it.

I just returned from my consultation with TLC. Due to thin corneas, my only option is PRK. The clinic is recommending PRK in my dominant eye and leave the left alone. My eye sight up close is perfect. I will be trying a mono vision contact the next few days to see if I am satisfied. My concerns deal with the recovery time. I understand that most people can return to physical activities within a few days, but the eye sight in the corrected eye can take weeks to heal. Since I am only having PRK on my right eye, do you think I would be able to wear a contact in my left eye until the vision in the right improves? Not being able to drive for 1-2 weeks might be a deal breaker for me. Thanks for taking the time for your blog and answering all of these questions. ~ Chris

i don’t see why you couldn’t wear a contact in the non-PRK eye. seems like it would be the same as you testing a mono vision contact.

I am scheduled for PRK in one eye to touch-up cataract surgery that even with a toric lens for astigmatism corrected to only 20-40 in my distance eye (I use monovision, with left eye for reading, right for distance). FYI I had lasik 13 years ago that negatively affected outcome of cataract surgery). Any comments about when I can get back to exercising? I see Alex played tennis at week 3. Is that about right insofar as any others have experienced? I’ll ask my doctor but thought I’d check with others who have actually been through the PRK process. Thanks.

physically, you should be okay to resume exercising not too long after the surgery. depending on how much pain you have. the challenge is more with what type of physical activity you’re doing and how competent you want to be.

for example, i could’ve probably played tennis a few days after my surgery but my eyes weren’t strong enough to be able to see and play well. ;) but if you’re wanting to lift some light weights or jog on a treadmill, i don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do that relatively soon after surgery.

Hi Alex,

Thank you so much for this! I had my PRK surgery at TLC 6 days ago and am still seeing blurry and yes not having that sharpness is pretty annoying. I felt comfortable enough to drive yesterday though which is great! One weird thing that I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced is that I feel like my right eye is healing slower than my left. Even the day of surgery I had more pain in my right eye than my left, and now I feel like I can see better in out my left eye than I can my right. I’m worried something is wrong :( I mentioned it to my doctor and she said it’s normal.. I have another appointment tomorrow and I will mention it again. Anyone else have this experience?? Thanks!!

honestly, i think that’s natural. i remember if i closed one eye and then the other, one eye was noticeably “better.” however, both eyes combined resulted in 20/20 (and even better) vision for me.

but i also remember that being the case when i had contacts. so i wouldn’t worry too much about individual eyes healing differently as long as your overall vision (with both eyes) continues to progress.

just like we have a dominate hand with stronger muscles, i wouldn’t be surprised if everyone had a “weaker” eye.

Nicole, my eyes are the same. I did have a slight astigmatism in my right eye, though. The nurse said that it all depends on how much treatment they had to do on my eyes as to healing for them. I’m 19 days post-op and my vision is blurry in my right eye still, and not completely crisp in my left, but getting there.

Hi Alex! I had the procedure done 2 weeks ago and like most comments here the sharpness is not there yet. The night vision is definitely worse for me. I had a question about dryness. Did you wake up with your eyes stuck together at any point? So scary! My eyes are so dry in the morning. It’s not bad throughout the day just in the am. Did you experience this? Thanks in advance :)

yup, i definitely remember waking up with a lot of eye crust. ;) like you, my eyes felt glued together. but that did eventually go away.

Thanks very much for your blog, Alex! I read this one and several others before deciding to take the plunge myself. My PRK surgery is tomorrow; I’m getting it done at TLC at Yonge and Eglinton. Excited and nervous by the prospect and hope my healing goes as well as yours!

excited for you! once you’re all healed up, it’s an amazing feeling. happy healing!

Hi Alex. Thanks for posting. I have had my 2nd laser procedure on the right eye 10 days ago. The first was last October – it was PRK and I did not really document the very lengthy recovery, but it seemed like several weeks before the blurriness was finally resolved. Unfortunately the surface cells (epithelial) did not grow back normally (i.e. they are not forming a smooth surface, but rather bumpy) and the doctor and I decided to do a PTK (June 10). I had reasonably good vision, but due to a problem with double vision (fixation switch diplopia – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7605281) I needed to fix the bumpiness and I wanted better distance vision.

After 10 days and still VERY blurry vision in the right eye, I’m feeling discouraged. Perhaps I’ll get lucky this time though and the cells will not be rough/bumpy and I can get on with my life. I can vouch for major frustration at the slow progress of healing. Hope you are well.

Joel I have the same bumpy healing of the epithelial! It’s been 5 weeks since my PRK procedure and I’m freaking out here cause my vision is worse than it was before and seems to be deteriorating daily. How are you doing? I hope you are getting better!

Alex, Thank you for this. I had PRK surgery the day before last and today I was freaking out a little. Yesterday I had no blurriness, just some sharp pains (like an eyelash and sunscreen in my eye) which lasted until this afternoon, however, this afternoon, everything became very blurry. Hard to describe because I think distance is clear, just mucked up, like I put a glob of vaseline over my cornea. What gives me hope, though, is your blog. I am still so early in this procedure and like you, during the procedure I could see (for about 10 seconds) COMPLETELY perfectly. In any case, you helped calm a lot of nerves, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

heya jim, i’m glad this post helped calm some of your nerves! i remember the same feeling when i read other peoples’ experiences which is what motivated me to share mine with others.

haha. try to stay in your skin. you’ll need it for all the fun things you’ll do when your eyes are recovered. ;)

Hi all, I was advised that I am a candidate of PRK. I scheduled it on July 28th. I’m concerned with all your comments as the doctor office said I am able to go back to work on the 1st of Aug. I have to drive eeek! Will I be ok driving? As for my work, I am a coder and my whole day I spend on computer, I am a heavy reader too (I use my phone-kindle app for reading). I am also concern because we are going to Disney last week of Sept and I don’t want my eyesight to dampen my children’s experience. Should I hold off? Or is the timing okay?

physically, you should be able to go back to work after three days.

the challenge is just how effective you’ll be at work with restricted vision. i was able to drive a short distance the day after surgery. but it all really depends on how your eyes respond to surgery. there’s no guarantees your recovery will be like mine.

based on my timeline, i think you should be fine for your trip to disney.

in the mean time, for work, you’re going to have to play it by ear and see how the first few days go. regardless, give your eyes plenty of rest and use the eye drops as directed. try not to work your eyes too hard while you’re recovering. so that may mean doing less reading on your kindle.

Thank you so much Alex, that gives me comfort. I will proceed as advised by my doctor. I would sacrifice my pleasure reading addiction so I can recover better. Again thank you. God bless…

Hello! So would u say at the 2.5 month mark u got the sharp crispness back as well??? Or did that cone back any earlier??? I jus got prk 8 days ago and im kinda bummed cause i cant see as sharp

if i remember right, the sharpness came back earlier than 2.5 months. but it took that long before i was 100% confident my eyes were done recovering.

Hi Alex
I am a candidate for both LASIK and PRK, but after reading about all the possible LASIK complication, I decided that if anything I will go for PRK. I am just not comfortable with having a flap in my eye for the rest of my life.
Regarding PRK, I would say that the one problem I have with it is recovery time. As an engineer, I am working on a computer about 10 hours a day. How fast will I be able to read clearly from a computer screen without any distractions?

Thanks!

as you’ve probably seen, that’s tough to say with PRK recovery.

my job also required i work on a computer for most of the day. i was able to go back to work after ten days off. granted, i had to lower the screen resolution so i could see things and also take frequent breaks.

but i could still function at a computer ten days out. that was my experience. i can’t say it will be the same for you though!

Thanks Alex! I really appreciate your help!
From your experience, do you think it will help doing one eye at a time?

i know that’s sometimes recommended but i personally couldn’t do it. knowing how cumbersome the recovery is, i’d rather do it all at once and get it over with as fast as possible.

however, if usable eyesight is critical to your job or life, then it might be worth considering so you have one good eye.

Appreciate the log. I had PRK last Monday (7 days ago) and have had a nearly identical experience to this point. My vision was not too bad prior, contacts at -1.25, so the immediadte positive effects are not as obviuos for me. Your 2-3 month reports are encouraging and I hope our experience remains very similar. The blurriness in the near objects was concerned me, as I did not have it before the procedure, but reading your experience was comforting. Thanks for sharing.

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