Who Qualifies?


Lt Col Reynolds
People with myopia, with or without astigmatism, and those with moderate amounts of hyperopia, with or without astigmatism, are potential candidates for PRK. Your provider will ultimately determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment. Dr. Patel, what else can you tell us about qualifying for PRK?

Dr. Patel
Well, Dr. Reynolds, potential active duty candidates for PRK surgery must meet the following conditions:

  • They must be 21 years of age or older
  • They must have healthy eyes free from eye disease, or corneal scarring or infection
  • They must have stable vision for at least one year prior to the time of surgery
  • They must receive a full eye examination to rule out conditions that may contraindicate PRK surgery
  • Their refractive error or glasses prescription must be within the range of effective treatment
  • They must be fully informed of the benefits and possible complications following PRK surgery
  • They should not currently be taking certain medications that may be contraindications to PRK surgery
  • They should not be pregnant or nursing
  • They must be able to tolerate local or topical anesthesia
  • They must be able to keep their eye accurately on the fixation light for the entire surgical procedure, and
  • They must be able to lie flat without difficulty

If a patient does not meet these criteria, they are probably not a good candidate for PRK. There are also some pre-existing conditions that may complicate or prevent the treatment, including:

  • Autoimmune, immunodeficiency, or collagen vascular disease, which can cause corneal ulceration or melting
  • Ocular disease such as dry eye, keratoconus, or glaucoma, and
  • The use of certain drugs prescribed to treat migraines and acne