Laser Eye Surgery: LASIK vs. PRK

a grey eyeFor those that wear eyeglasses for nearsightedness, the notion of having broken glasses during a SHTF scenario is terrifying – not being able to see! One obvious solution would be to have several pairs of extra glasses available, or many months of contact lenses. Another option, although expensive, is laser eye surgery.

There are two primary options for laser eye surgery, LASIK and PRK. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but for a survivalist the choice will usually be clear:

•LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) basically involves creating a flap on the cornea, using a laser to shape the eye and correct vision, and replacing the flap. The flap remains in position by natural adhesion and quickly heals. Excellent vision is normally achieved in a few hours to a few days.
•In PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), the top layer of eye skin cells (corneal epithelium) is removed, and a laser is used to shape the eye can correct vision. A protective contact lens is placed on the eye for several days to help speed the healing process (cornea cells growing back). During the healing process, vision can vary.
It may seem like a no-brainer to choose LASIK, since it offers relatively instant gratification. However, there are a few cons to LASIK. First, the structure of the eye is compromised, and, while rare, the “flap” can be displaced months or even years later. With PRK, on the other hand, there is no flap and the procedure can be done repeatedly if needs be (e.g. years later if vision changes) without weakening the eye.

Another advantage to PRK is that in many cases it can be done even when LASIK cannot (due to a thin cornea). Finally, if you live long enough, you’ll likely need Cataract Surgery, which consists of replacing the eye’s lens. LASIK can complicate this procedure.

Last year I considered these pros and cons, and opted for PRK. It was very expensive. But just last week I took a finger in the eye from one of our very young children that most likely would have caused a flap to come loose had I had LASIK rather than PRK. After TSTHF there will be no doctors with lasers to fix such problems.

To me this justifies the much longer time required for full healing, though many who’ve had LASIK don’t want to hear about it. Granted it’s uncommon, but still a possibility to plan for.

Source: suburbansurvivalist.wordpress.com
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