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How long does it take to Recover from PRK?

Trey3UofM

Registered User
#1
I am a senior Marine option, and will be graduating next spring. I am interested in getting PRK but was wondering if the procedure and recovery time would take to long for me to get a wavier and put in my package before next spring? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

SteveG75

Retired and starting that second career
None
#2
Tok me 6 weeks for my eyes to stabilize and get med up and back into the cockpit. I did mine back in Jan 2001 and still 20/15 on a good day.

The first couple of days are really bad, first two weeks you will be very sensitive to bright lights. Just gets better after that.

BTW, I had already been winged 9 years when I did mine so check all the rules for your situation.
 

TheBubba

I Can Has Leadership!
None
#3
Tok me 6 weeks for my eyes to stabilize

I could only wish... Took me a whole 7 months to stabilize. At 6 weeks, I was still really light sensitive and it seemed like my focal point changed everytime I blinked.

At present, I'm 20/20 left, 20/15 right. 20/20 or 20/15 overall, depending on which doctor you ask.
 

NozeMan

Are you threatening me?
pilot
Super Moderator
#4
If you plan on getting waivered while in NROTC...it takes some time. They needed the paperwork for at least 6 months worth of checkup for me. It usually takes that long to stabilize anyways. I think senior year is probably too late to look into it, to be honest. Everyone that did it while I was in NROTC did it while we still had 3 full semesters before graduation. Ask your unit.

Upon further reading, if you mean by "next spring" as in 2008, you probably have enough time to get it done. If you are graduating this spring, I'd say there is no way it'd be possible.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
#5
To fully recover? Probably 6 months. I had mine done just over 4 years ago and still have 20/12 each eye. Two small issues still remain, sensitivity to sunlight and dry eyes in the morning (though it's lessening as time goes by). I can easily live with both of those.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
#7
Vs havng to wear glasses, it is a small tradeoff..
I agree. I wear sunglasses every day, raining, sun, cloudy, etc. It almost seems the glare in an overcast is as bad as a sunny day. Worth it having eagle eyes though. Best I had growing up was 20/20 and barely made that cut-off during my first physical at NAMI all those years ago.
 

danthaman

The right to keep and bear arms
#8
Ask your OSO, he will know for sure. I did PRK 2 years ago and I had to wait 3 months I think before they could start working me, maybe it was 6, I can't remember for sure. Everybody is different, but I was 20/15 within a month and a half, but they say it takes the average person about 6 months for their eyes to completely stabilize and heal. Don't do anything without talking to your OSO first though, he knows all the rules.
 

PropStop

Kool-Aid free since 2001.
pilot
Contributor
#9
Hold off on the PRK. Within the next few months the navy will approve Lasik and it will be available to service members. Lasik is a much better procedure, faster recovery and overall better long term results.

I was going to get PRK from the navy in a few months, between duty stations. But now you're down 3-6mo for PRK. Doc advised me to wait a few extra months and get Lasik instead.

This info is as last Friday.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
#10
Hold off on the PRK. Within the next few months the navy will approve Lasik and it will be available to service members. Lasik is a much better procedure, faster recovery and overall better long term results.
Says who? I'd like to see where the results are better than PRK, as stated by professionals. It's my understanding that the only difference between the two methods is how they cut the eye, not how the laser is used. I understand the healing time is much quicker than PRK with LASIK but better? Do you have link?
 

danthaman

The right to keep and bear arms
#12
I have never heard anywhere that lasik has better results than PRK. My doctor did both and had no bias for one or the other and said they have the same results. He told me the reason lasik is more popular is because there is almost no recovery time, verses PRK taking a couple of months to completely heal. I agree with UINAVY, I would rather wait a couple of months to have perfect vision than have a flap cut in my eye and put back in place, but that is just personal preference. There is nothing wrong with either procedure.
 

PropStop

Kool-Aid free since 2001.
pilot
Contributor
#14
Says who? I'd like to see where the results are better than PRK, as stated by professionals. It's my understanding that the only difference between the two methods is how they cut the eye, not how the laser is used. I understand the healing time is much quicker than PRK with LASIK but better? Do you have link?
I don't have a link for it. This is just what my flt doc told me the other day. I had asked about PRK and was planning on getting it when i left my current command (they wouldn't approve it if I were to be down for so long).

There is no difference in how the laser fixes your eye, that I know of. The main concern for Lasik, according to my doc, was that the flap of skin could blow open during ejection. After tests it was shown that this wouldn't happen, even with 800mph blasts of wind. I won't go into detail on what the doc told me about how the tests were conducted.

I only have the info the doc gave me. Lasik sounds fine for me and the recovery time will get me flying again much faster. I don't fly ejection seat aircraft, so that little flap of skin isn't much of a concern to me. If Lasik is approved, as it appears it will be, then i expect the navy to completely move to it because of the faster recovery time.
 

bunk22

Super *********
pilot
Super Moderator
#15
I don't have a link for it. This is just what my flt doc told me the other day. I had asked about PRK and was planning on getting it when i left my current command (they wouldn't approve it if I were to be down for so long).

There is no difference in how the laser fixes your eye, that I know of. The main concern for Lasik, according to my doc, was that the flap of skin could blow open during ejection. After tests it was shown that this wouldn't happen, even with 800mph blasts of wind. I won't go into detail on what the doc told me about how the tests were conducted.

I only have the info the doc gave me. Lasik sounds fine for me and the recovery time will get me flying again much faster. I don't fly ejection seat aircraft, so that little flap of skin isn't much of a concern to me. If Lasik is approved, as it appears it will be, then i expect the navy to completely move to it because of the faster recovery time.
My guess is by better means the recovery period. Same results in the end I would think, one simply heals quicker and hurst less...thus better in my book. My right eye, felt like I had someone holding a lighter flame to it for two days after surgery. Thank god for the numbing eye drops. Probably one of the worst pains I've ever experienced. Just one of the lucky few to have such a fun experience :(