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Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244
Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244

LASIK vs. PRK: Which is Better For Me?

Are you sick of constantly wearing glasses or dealing with annoying contact lenses? Then you might be an excellent candidate for two types of corrective vision procedures: LASIK and PRK (Photo-Refractive Keratectomy) surgeries.


Both types of procedures are designed to help you achieve better vision, so you can be free from glasses and contact lenses. Both surgical treatments are extremely safe, take only minutes to perform, and almost all patients achieve 20/20 vision post-operation.

With these similarities in mind, what are the primary differences – if any – between the two? And when it comes down to LASIK vs. PRK, which is better for you?

To answer that question, it’s important to look at the primary purposes of the two procedures. LASIK and PRK are surgical procedures designed to correct the vision of patients who suffer from:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism

However, PRK is preferred for patients who have:

  • Irregular corneas
  • Thin corneas
  • Chronic dry eye
  • A high risk of eye injury (i.e. athletes in contact sports, emergency medical professionals, and members of the armed forces.)


Unlike LASIK, the PRK procedure doesn’t require an incision in the cornea. This is pretty huge for folks with thin corneas, as the lack of an incision means the structural integrity of the cornea won’t be compromised. If you’ve ever been rejected as a candidate for LASIK surgery due to having thin corneas, the PRK procedure could be a good alternative.

As there’s no cornea incision during PRK treatments, the ophthalmologist removes the thin outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium, which exposes the thicker part of the cornea that needs to be shaped. The ophthalmologist reshapes the cornea to achieve 20/20 vision, a contact lens is then placed over the exposed surface while it heals during the next several days. Similar to LASIK surgery, the PRK procedure takes just minutes to perform, making it an excellent choice for time-crunched patients.


Want to learn if you’re a candidate for LASIK or PRK surgery? Schedule a consultation with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today. NewView is the first and only laser eye center in Reston, Virgina serving the Northern Virginia and Washington DC community since 1999.