PRK – 5 Weeks Later

Wow. This past week has shown drastic improvements in my vision. Last week I was finished with the steroid drops. A few days after that, and all of a sudden I started seeing noticeably better. It has improved even until today.

This morning I had my 5 week eye checkup. The eye doctor did the standard wall chart thing, and I managed to read the 20/20 line with each eye separately! That’s a huge step! The vision is still far from perfect, but at the core of the smudgy blurriness, I can see sharp letters. It took some effort to focus in on the letters, but I managed. It’s still better in my left than my right.

Things are much clearer, though I’d estimate my vision at about 80% of optimal. I’ve been able to go back to my standard font size on the computer. My vision is more stable throughout the day. It doesn’t fluctuate as much as it did in the past month. They’re still dry, but less dry than before, and the dryness doesn’t affect clarity as much as before.

I’m still using the eyedrops very liberally. I switched to normal rewetting drops as instructed, but after telling the doc how often I use eyedrops (on average, 1 to 2 per hour), she suggested that I go back to the preservative free drops for most of the time. Apparently the preservatives can cause some discomfort in some people, although I haven’t really noticed a difference. She said the dryness is normal and will decrease in the coming weeks and months.

Overall, I’m very, very pleased with where I’m at today. After spending the last 5 weeks in varying levels of blurriness, the bubble in which I’ve been living has been greatly expanded. Imagine the first time you saw a high def TV compared to the static-laced black-and-white of yesterday. It’s that much of a difference. And the great thing is that it is going to improve, with a very good chance of getting better than 20/20 vision.

40 thoughts on “PRK – 5 Weeks Later

  1. I am so happy to hear that your vision is getting better. I had my PRK done 1 week ago and I was so worried about my vision. I had explained to the clinic I was a law clerk and all I do all day is read case law and research and they assured me by now I would be fine reading again. Of course I’m not. I can read for about 3 hours with the font at a huge size and then my eyes become so tired that I can’t see anything at all for the rest of the day.

    I hope you keep updating us of your improvements. This has really made me feel a lot better.

  2. Your blog has helped me a lot. I am having my PRK done in 4 days and now at leaset I know what to expect. I must admit I had no idea there was such a long recovery period. Now that I know, I won’t have such high hopes. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  3. thank you so much for this blog! All I could find so far was blog of disaster PRK recovery experiences, but yours is very accurate and similar to my experience so even if I am only at the 10-days mark, after reading you I am back to being optimistic!

  4. I agree with so many others. Thank you sooo much for this blog, it has given me new hope after two and a half weeks of blurred vision. Thank you so much for keeping an accurate and organized blog!

  5. Thank You….Such a help to know what to expect…I was getting concerned about my recovery & now I feel that what I’m going through is “normal”

  6. I am going on five weeks now and I’m doing great. I really didn’t start seeing pretty well until week 4. I won’t see my eye doctor until next week but if I had to guess, I’d say I have 90% acuity. Although the first few weeks were worrisome, I’m really glad I had the surgery. For those that are still in the first month of their surgery, hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    • I’m so glad to see this. I am coming to one month of having PRK and I was getting worried. Many blogs I read, most were already at 20/20- so I thought maybe I am one of the few who will not ever see 20/20 without glasses. I haven’t noticed any improvements since the first week. So this gives me hope! Thanks!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing the experience. I am in my fourth week after PRK and start to lose my faith until I read your blog.

    • Thank you so much for your blog. I am at week 4 and was getting very concerned since my vision is still blurry and I have trouble driving. I thought something went wrong since after about 3 hours at work I guess my eyes get tired I am back to very very blurred vision and I need to close my eyes to rest them because if I wait any longer after they start to get blurry it gets so bad I cant see at all. The doctor keeps telling me all is going fine just give it time. After reading your blog I see this is all within the healing process. Thank you.

  8. I really appreciate your blog. I am on week 2 post PRK and was getting very discouraged. I work from my home computer, so you can imagine how much “work” I have been getting done. Thanks.

  9. My husband has surgery 10 wks ago. He got so frustrated that he still has very blurry vision. He still using the Flarex drops 3/day as instructed by doctor. He said that may be a few minutes a day he can see clearly but then blurry again. Probably when he will completely not use the Flarex drop, it’ll improve? He’s loosing faith & worried & frustrated. It’s hard to work on computer everyday with this blurry condition. Anyone has similar problem??

    • I had prk, I’m going on 5weeks , and I was or am really worried there’s times when I get so disappointed I even had the thought that i I might lose my vision. But iI still have hope after reading all this blogs. I think it’s normal, I hope. Because I still have very blurried vision. I’m 36 and i could read perfect small Letters and since my prk surgery small letters are so blurry. But i don’t want to lose my faith. I pray everyday to get better.

      • Did your doctor explain that your distance vision would improve, but your near vision for reading and such would not? I was told with PRK my would improve and that I would need readers. It worked perfect for me because I was extremely near sided and still needed readers. Now I can see long distance to drive and it’s great for any outdoor activities where I would have needed contacts or glasses before.

  10. Steroids inhibit healing… They are a form of anti inflammatory but at the same time they prevent the body from rebuilding. I find it interesting that you noticed a rapid improvement in vision the week after you stopped using them!

    • I not odd the same thing. My eyes feel totally fine. I just had my PRK 6 days ago and I’m already thinking about not using them despite my doctors order.

  11. I am at 5 weeks and have purchased some reader glasses. Has anyone else done this? Did they bother you, extend the healing process, etc…? I find that they are helpful but by the end of the day, my eyes are tired and I have that dull headache. I also notice that since my farsightedness is awesomely clear and I use readers, removing them and adjusting back to no glasses brings on a bit of seasickness. So, your experience and any advice is appreciated.

  12. Hello All,
    Wondering if anyone has had this experience? I had PRK in both eyes about 6 weeks ago. From the on set I was a slow healer. It took about 10 days or so for the epithelium to regrow on both eyes. In that time I got an infection in my right eye. From sitting up after surgery I noticed I could see better in my left eye. A couple weeks ago I told the doctor in my right eye its like I didn’t have the surgery. Sure enough prescription is the same -5.75. Left eye is 20/20 right eye like it never happened. I’m about to go to Steroid drops to twice a day soon. I know these slow the healing process done. Fighting the urge to stop them so I can see if my right eye improves. Anyone else have a similar experience with huge differences in eyes and is there hope? Dr says we can scrape right eye again as the epithelium may have grow back double? Hoping not to have to go there.

    • I’m on day 14 since surgery, I’m experiencing the same frustration, left eye seems pretty good but right eye is frustratingly blurry, i am right eye dominant and it’s turkey and bear hunting season and I can’t shoot. Im hoping this will get better but I’m getting a little worried.

  13. I am on week 5 after PRK. Some days I can read my computer with no readers and other times I need to use them. I went to the dollar store and bought +1.00, +1.25 and some +1.50’s. Each day I seem to need a different level. Like the previous person, some days they make me feel sick so I just switch to a lower level. I had to get them to be able to read numbers at my job. My farsightedness is great some days with minor ghosting and other days quite a lot. It seems to be worse when I’m tired. My eyes needed quite a bit of correction as I was -8.50 in both eyes. My right eye seems to be healing quicker than my left, which sometimes worries me that I will not see 20/20 in both. I guess time will tell.
    Thanks so much for your blog, I have been checking it quite often to see if what I’m going through is normal!

  14. Thank you for sharing. I just had PRK 4 days ago and I’ve been VERY concerned. I was told the recovery period would be a little longer thank Lasik but didn’t realize the extent. I had better vision the day after surgery than I do now (have been very discouraged). I also wasn’t told I should expect to take time off from work… I was told I would probably be able to drive OK and that my vision would probably be a little better than as if I wasn’t wearing my glasses. Boy were they wrong… I’ve been driving but it’s been VERY unsafe, and I’ve gone to work full-time starting the day after surgery (but could actually see better then than now). Your blog has helped A LOT!! I know now that my progress sounds normal and that I can anticipate a slow recovery period. Thanks Again!!!

    • I am at the 3 week mark after prk and have extreme light sensitivity! I went off the antibiotic drop a week after prk and pred forte the steroid 2 weeks after. My dr put me back on the steroid today after not being able to go outside in the daytime or drive all week. I’m hoping this helps, bc I cannot be a vampire any longer. My vision is at 20/20 with still a little nearsightedness, which I can totally handle compared to the pain of the light sensitivity. I was at -4.75 and -5.25 before with astigmatism in both eyes. I’ve only been able to work 2 days since the surgery. Also, I only use preservative free drops. I have found that Thera tears works the best bc I can’t use any gel drops either, preservative free or not. And restasis made the dryness worse. I guess my eyes are just ultra sensitive. I was on board to get LASIK until the morning of surgery when the surgeon decided prk was a better option. I just keep wondering what if I had gotten LASIK instead?! Would I be normal again? Good luck all.

  15. This blog has been extremely helpful. I had PRK 12 days ago and have been quite discouraged and concerned. This blog has kept my expectations, and patience in check. In one week I embark on a two-week business trip. I’m concerned about reading the airport depart boards. Nothing like flying blind through the Atlanta airport. Many thanks!!

  16. I hade prk about six weeks just hade my first check up. It was stille a little blurry, but it improved by a line and a half on the eye chart. It still has a little bite of smothing out to do. I only hade one eye done the other one was not to bad and working on coumputer I wanted one done at a time. I will get the other one done when needed or the doctor decide after the other one is healed all the way. It does get better in vison, don’t be in a rush it does take paitences there will days that are going to be clear then other, but before you know it everthing will be crystal clear. I will update after i see the doctor next visit. Take the vit for eyes and drink plenty of water at work it helps not to get the feeling like thay are dried.

  17. This blog has been a life-saver. It’s the end of week 5 today. I have a long way to go but can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first couple weeks had me in a ‘dark place’ in my mind wondering what on earth I had done to myself: PRK – both eyes at the same time with -8.50 and -8.75 and astigmatisms. Huge corrections. All that research and I was still foolish enough to think I’d be up and running a week or two later. Nope.
    Told 5-7 days needed … was off work for 4 weeks – could not drive and could not read at all with any strength of readers and had double vision in both eyes – Left/Right in left eye and Up/Down in right eye. At week 4 the doctor put contacts on – that took care of the double vision … what a relief! He added a mild prescription to help the eyes see close to the same so they weren’t fighting each other to focus. Helped a lot, though far from perfect it did bring more relief. Unfortunately they aren’t really fitted so they tend to bob around adding to the challenge of blurry vision in both eyes. Never ‘watered and blinked’ so much in my life.
    For all the struggles though I must say it is amazing to see so much going on all around me. My vision was limited to what I saw through my lenses; outside that I saw a white haze with color blotches. Now I see everything – blurry as it is I know what it is! It’s the closer and finer functional vision I crave now. Feels like I should just put on a pair of glasses and be done with it. That said, I can see the differences daily as they heal and change and heal some more. I make the font huge on my computer and find the contacts do help me read again (yes, it’s hard and tiring … but it’s still an improvement I see and that is encouraging).
    Be prepared and take sufficient time off to simply relax and heal: like my experience, it may not be optional. If it’s planned that way it’s much less stressful!
    Would I do it again? 2 weeks ago I would have said “not a chance.” Today, I say “absolutely!”

  18. Oh, yes! I should also mention …
    After surgery I had to have a contact on my right eye for 2-1/2 weeks – to help keep it all held together as my ‘amazing’ vision seems to slip away completely when they took it off … kind of like a collapse. Putting the lens back on gave it support.
    4 days after surgery, and sadly, they warned me that my amazing vision – in both eyes – would soon end and it would get much worse before it got better: that is known as the healing process as they eyes have to heal just like a sore does creating a healing layer, shedding, healing, shedding … all of which affects how you see.
    I had to go to the doctor every day for over two weeks to see if the lens could come off – finally it did. Right eye was quite behind the left at this point.
    Then the left eye developed mind boggling double vision requiring a contact to keep it in shape – not focus – just held it together better. Thankfully they keep them in there 24/7 and I could finally cut visits back to every 4 or 5 days …
    As mentioned, I have contacts on both eyes now as both suffer severely from double vision – the contacts help quite a lot so don’t be afraid to insist on them if you are dealing with this. Blurry vision yes – they bounce around a bit – but it’s tolerable.
    I’m sure in 5 weeks I have been there 15 times already. I go back again in 1.5 weeks to see how my eyes are doing and to change the contacts. With any luck I won’t need them any more. If you decide to use contacts to help with double vision – especially with a prescription in them, your eyes can change so much within a few days or just a day you may have to change them more often. I’ve had these ones in for 4 days … first three days were great … today – not so much. Sigh. Patience is the key.
    The “5 Years Later” blog with this account is inspiring and brings great hope that in time this will be only a memory.

  19. I am at week 4 exactly for my right eye after prk, and day 3 for my left eye which we decided would be my “reading eye”. Luckily I can see the monitor with my distance eye so I am able to read this very helpful blog. I am at 20/40 in my distance eye. It is comfortable and not dry feeling although after reading so many comments stating that you might not feel dryness and still need drops I use the moisturizing drops. My left eye still hurts like heck. It’s only day 3 so I expected that, and it’s better than yesterday which I mostly slept through. I am anxious to get better than 20/40 vision in my right eye because I only had one eye corrected for distance. I just went off the streroid drops in my right eye so hopefully in a week I too will see more improvement. This blog has been so helpful! Thank You :)

  20. Im at week 6… i see but i feel my vision should be better… night time is still tricky for me… my doc says i have pressure on my eyes…has anyone experienced this or know more about it??

    • Yes, I had pressure on my eyes too. I was told I’m a steroid responder which means your eyes respond to a strong steroid with an increase in intraocular pressure. After this discovery and going on a weaker steroid, my pressures went down to normal. Recently did a PRK enhancement using a weaker steroid this time and my pressures have remained normal. :)

  21. I had PRK done 11 days ago, I was gonna ask when I start seeing improvement but by the looks of it it takes a while. I was getting worried too if i would ever have 20/20 vision. thanks for the info.

  22. Thanks for the great play by play. I am just over 3 weeks in on my RPK and this helps alleviate my concerns.

  23. Oh my PRK Blues! Your blog brought people like me outta shell and get me encouraged to narrate my evolving experience. I am presently + 4 weeks after the PRK surgery date! My doctors chose this particular surgery best suited me having grilled my eyes to the tilt and ruled out SMILES option for me. Really, I couldn’t join issues with them over this option more so once I was, a candidate of a regressed Lasik crucifix, besides, a cop who of course fits into the category of preferred patients for the surgery. But bet, I never bargained for my post PRK surgery experience so far. But the consolation is very assuring – going about without my trade mark thick lenses, though notwithstanding the blurred vision and the hazy picturesque at nights. Guess what, the cloudy vision almost cost me my semester exams! Little did I know that healing period would be this long, and I had to prepare for my exams! I simply resorted to torch lights to brighten my gaze on my text books. That has been the greatest anti-climax to my PRK blues so far, coupled with inability to ‘read and write’ which however are gradually frizzling out. I know as the days and weeks roll by, I should be able to go back to the Shooting Range with my naked natural eyes to try the bull. Its been a challenging but interesting time out and indeed, a remarkable sojourn so far in the unknown terrain of PRK adventure!!

  24. Forgot to expatiate more on my inability to ‘read and write’ 2-3weeks after my PRK operation. As a myopic adherent, reading glasses were never my companion. Surprisingly my post PRK blurry and pitch cloudy vision forced me to cut readers fast, yet unabated even combined with torch rays to reinforce my reading gaze. Yes at my + 4 weeks post surgery experience, my vision is gradually getting stabilized, with total confidence to drive my truck with my Rayban sun shades on in the day to prevent sun rays and night against haze effects (unlike before when they used to be potential hindrance to my clear vision) and also boost my fashion consciousness. I may not have regrets going for PRK after all. However, days and months ahead will surely tell!!

  25. Thanks for sharing your feedback. I had the PRK surgery about 13 days ago. So far your experience is almost exactly like mine. I was very, very near-sided. Could not read anything unless it was inches from my face. All appears to be going as I was told.

    I wanted to point out, I read that the steroid drops (I’m using Lotemax) would cause the blurred (ghosting) vision; you wrote that after stopping the drops your vision cleared a lot. I’m anxious to stop those too, but my doc wants me to use them for another 6 weeks.

    Yesterday was my two week checkup, I was 20-30 in one eye and 20/50 in the other. Very excited to get through the next 6 weeks! Fast healing to everyone!

    • Days and months are already telling! Four months now after my PRK surgery and I have got a lot of positively good news to tell over proven improvement in my vision. Coming all the way from Nigeria to the Miami South Beach of Florida on a deserved vacation from the hustles and bustles of Lagos without my usual trade-mark, medicated glasses on still baffles my imagination! PRK has no doubt set me free! Know what? By the day, I am still getting more ‘liberated’ as my vision continues to assert more authorities on my eyes. A miracle indeed!!!

  26. Chad- I want to thank you. I’m in week 2 of my prk/ASA recovery, and your blog has kept me from losing my mind with worry. I thought recovery would be only a few weeks, and right now my left eye is a little blurry, and my right eye has a ton of ghosting that only goes away for mere seconds after instilling the preservative free drops.

    I’m hoping to see the same improvements you did once I’m off the FML steroid drops. I’m a little worried about my right eye because they said the astigmatism was so bad, they may only be able to correct it to 20/30 or a weak 20/20… but right now I feel like it’s almost as bad as it was when I took my glasses off. Your writings have given me hope that it’s just healing a wee bit slower (there has been improvement over the last two weeks for sure, even in that eye).

    Thank you for my sanity, sir.

    Well done.

    • I am so glad I found this blog. I, too, was starting to lose it. I am almost 4 weeks post PRK. It is remarkable how much better my vision is than before surgery without contacts/glasses, but I also have ghosting/double vision and although I can legally drive, I don’t like it. These two things bother my eyes and have worried me. I could see much better with my contacts/glasses. I have three more days, one drop a day of the steroid in each eye. I hope I have the same improvement as some of you had after stopping the steroid. Thank you all for your comments. Although I’ve been told my eyes will improve, I’ve been worried I was one of the unlucky 1%. I see my doctor in three days. I will keep you posted.

      • Hey there,

        I just had PRK 2.5 months ago. My right eye is in pretty good shape almost 20/20 now.

        Recovery period overall was INTENSE for me. And I was scared out of my mind my eye sight was permanently effed up.

        I was negative 6.5 with contacts before PRK so I was in bad shape.

        I think of your prescription is not very high you’ll prol be 20/20 within a week after surgery. But if your a high prescription like I was you might need a “touch up”.

        For these last two months I’ve been wearing glasses after surgery because I’m like 20/60 in my left eye and worse than that I’ve had double vision ghosting hardcore in that eye which makes it super weird and trippy and very hard to read.

        Good news is I saw my doc yesterday and he agreed to re do my left eye with a “touch up” PRK despite it only having been 2.5 months (cause it’s obvious at this point it’s healed 90% and I need to fix this double vision, etc).

        Overall I never expected this amount of recovery period and trouble to have 20/20 after Lasik.

        But after having done it I can say that if you’re a high prescription you A LOT more likely to NOT be 20/20 after just one surgery.

        But if your not as blind as I was just so it it will be easy.

      • Hello Carol,
        How is your vision now? Did it improve after you stopped the steroid drops?

        I am 4 weeks tomorrow. Although I can see well enough to work on the computer, albeit with large fonts, my vision is still blurry. It is especially noticeable at distances over 10 feet, e.g., fuzzy faces coming towards me when walking down the street.
        As for close up vision, I have noticed some improvement from the first week, e.g., i couldn’t read small print at first but I’m able to with a bit of effort now .

        But despite the small improvements, things are still blurry and the blurriness is exacerbated by my dry eyes. My right eye, which is not progressing as quickly as my left, is quite dry, requiring re-wetting every 15 minutes or so with Refresh Plus while working on the computer. I’ve just started using Refresh Celluvisc and it provides better dry eye relief, about 30 + minutes. I don’t really like Celluvisc however, because it blurs my vision but the relief is oh, so nice. Developing chronic dry eye syndrome from PRK is something I’m quite concerned about.

        I’m curious about your steroid regimen. Chad, the creator of this blog seems to be on a similar protocol. I’m going into week 5 and I still have 4 more weeks of steroid drops so, total of 8 weeks. Can anyone shed some light on the reason for the difference?

  27. 5 weeks out. Had moments of great vision during walks at night a couple weeks ago, but only on a couple nights. Now the eyes are out of wack. Right eye still undercorrected (nearsighted) by .5 diopters. The left is under corrected by .5. Doc told me that the right epithelium “isn’t happy” and still trying to “stitch” itself over the surface of the cornea. Apparently, the healing is of the epithelium is a multi-stage process. First, it piles up across the eye, especially in the middle as a kind of bandage. Then it flattens slowly out and begins to create a more organized structure.

    Hey everybody: If you’re healing up from PRK, don’t forget to keep a humidifier running if you’re in a dry area. Day and night. You can get the mist kind for like 40 bucks. Worth every penny. It will help with the healing. Don’t skip this step.

  28. 5 weeks past after PRK.

    Now my distance vision is +1.00 left and +1.50 right. My near vision is +3.00 left and +3.50 right. I know this because I had to get vision corrected for my business trip.

    The corrected near vision with glasses is good. Still waiting for far vision glasses.

    The eye doctor at the Vision Center told me that I still need another 2 months (totally 3 months) to settle the vision.

    I doubt it as I do not see any vision changes any more. I am thinking that my vision has been over corrected from -11.00 left and -8.50 right to +1.00 left and +1.50 right.

    Will see the 3 month results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *