christy wrote:(My doctor) wants to correct only my dominant eye since I am 40 years old and am likely to become farsighted if both eyes are corrected.
You may have a confusion in terms. You will become presbyopic, which means the ability to see near objects is more and more restricted, requiring reading glasses or bifocals. By correcting only the dominant eye your doctor would be creating monovision
. I normally highly recommend that a patient try monovision with contact lenses before making a decision, but that does not seem necessary in your case. PRK has a much longer healing period than Lasik and you would probably want to do one eye at a time so you have one fully functional eye while the PRKed eye heals. By doing the dominant eye first, you will have a monovision effect. I do recommend that you plan for several weeks, probably 2-4 months, before deciding if you want to have the nondominant eye fully corrected too. You need to let your PRK eye heal, and then let your brain adapt to monovision before you make final decision.
christy wrote:First, PRK has a longer recovery period and I am a computer programmer ...
Now I'm going to contradict myself. It may be that due to your extensive computer work you would prefer being a bit myopic (nearsighted, shortsighted) in both eyes as this gives you better mid-near distance vision (computer screen distance). You may not want monovision or any surgery at all. After talking with your doctor and considering your needs carefully, you may want to try contacts for full distance correction and see how it affects your work, and then try monovision to see if the effect is desired.
christy wrote:...so it is important that I be able to go back to work after a few days.
Having one eye done at a time should allow you to return to work, however there will be some issues.
For 2-3 days after PRK you will have "functional fuzzy" vision. You can see things, but detail is poor. For 1-2 weeks after that your vision will steadily improve, but it won't be until about a 4-6 weeks after PRK that you will start having the really crisp vision you seek.
While your visoin is compromised due to healing, you will have reduced depth perception because one eye will see a relatively clear image and the other eye will not. This can make text seem to "float" in front of you. Pretty bizarre at times, but certainly workable for most.
Another issue is dry eye and PRK healing. Computer users are notorious for not blinking enough. If your eyes get a bit dehydrated because of poor blinking habits, then your healing can be delayed significantly. Talk to your doctor about wearing an eye patch (Aaargh, ye be a bit of a pirate at yar workplace!) or set up a very rigid regimine of closing your eyes for 30 seconds every 15 minutes or whatever your doctor recommends.
christy wrote:I'm not sure what it will be like to have only one eye corrected; it seems strange that I will use one eye for distance vision and the other for reading, etc.
About one-third of people who try monovision in contacts or laser don't like it. That does not consider those who won't try it because they don't like even the concept. This is why the contact lens trial is normally recommended. You can get a very good real-world example of life with monovision without having it lasered onto your eyes.
christy wrote:Finally, what is the likelihood that my vision would regress again, requiring yet another procedure?
Your eyes will continue to change after initial Lasik or enhancement surgery at the same rate they would have changed without the laser eye surgery.