Hey, it’s me, Jong! So, you have decided to finally address the cataract in your eyes. Surgery is the only option. Is cataract surgery painful? Before you undergo such a procedure, please read this post first.
Is Cataract Surgery Painful? How Painful Is It?
While most people associate pain with surgery, actually performing the procedure and then recovering from the surgery can be quite painful otherwise.
However, modern cataract surgery isn’t at all painful. It’s also safe. Many people I know have already undergone this procedure.
But many patients report feeling discomfort while being positioned for the surgery or during the actual operation. This is normal since your eye muscles are relaxed and unable to tighten or contract when asked so many times per minute.
After the surgery, some patients may experience dry eyes due to fluid that was removed during the surgery leaving no place to put it. Allergies also occur in one percent of individuals who have cataract surgery.
How to Ease Surgical Pain?
In the next section, you’ll find some ways to help ease surgical pain and other symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to talk about them with your doctor so they can help!
Reminder: even though pain is a pretty common side effect of having cataract surgery, only 10% of patients say their pain was very severe at least once during their recovery.
How is cataract surgery different from other surgeries?
During most general anesthesia procedures, doctors administer medicines to make you sleepy or unconscious so that you do not feel anything during the operation.
However, some patients cannot be anesthetized this way because they are allergic to one of the medicines in the mix. Or, they have a bad reaction to another medicine in the mixture.
For these reasons, some less invasive eye surgeries use local anesthesia instead. With this type of anesthesia, patients can still feel some pain but it is usually only for a few minutes.
Some people also prefer to stay awake while having eye surgery. This is called conscious sedation.
Another option is twilight sleep or wake-up analgesia.
Some surgeons can perform the procedure under this technique and then awaken the patient just long enough to remove the lens and wash out the wound before putting them back together. This cuts down on time spent in recovery.
But even with all these options, there is always some level of discomfort or pain involved with ocular surgery. Luckily, newer technology has made some types of surgery virtually invisible!
There are several techniques used to reduce irritation from intraocular lenses (IOLs). These include adding padding or cushioning within the IOL, using foldable/flexible implants, and moving the focus away from the eye by altering the shape of the implant.
Are there any particular things that make cataract surgery more painful than other surgeries?
There are several reasons why some people may experience more pain after their cataracts are treated.
Some of the most common reasons include:
Having the procedure done under local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia.
Using clear cornea (anterior chamber) implants rather than posterior segment (behind-the-eye lens) implants. A plastic plate is placed in front of the eye to replace the natural lens, so less invasive!
Sleeping with your eyes closed before the operation can help reduce discomfort.
Drinking alcohol or taking certain medications before the surgery could also contribute to increased pain. Make sure you’re aware of all of your medication for side effects, as well as what beverages contain alcoholic content.
If possible, try sleeping in bed with pillows that have gel inserts to relieve pressure on specific areas of your face. For example, if your nose is hurting, use a pillow with an insert. Or you might want to invest in foam earplugs or cotton balls to put in your ears.
How to manage pain during cataract surgery
The best way to do this is by practicing relaxation methods ahead of time. You can learn these skills through yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, and guided meditation.
By preparing yourself mentally, you can decrease anxiety which makes the pain feel better.
What are some tips for lessening the pain of cataract surgery?
When it comes to reducing ocular discomfort during your procedure, there are several things you can do. Many surgeons now use topical anesthetics in the form of eye drops or gel applications. This helps reduce any sensitivity in the eyes due to the incision sites.
Another option is perioperative analgesia, which means administering medication to help ease the pain right after the procedure. There are many different types of oral and injectable drugs that can be used for this purpose.
Some other ways to alleviate pain include using cold compresses on the eyes and/or wearing glasses with polarizing filters. By blocking light just enough, your eyes will feel more relaxed and comfortable.
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Although most people feel some pain after their eye doctor performs cataract surgery, there is an important risk to consider – one that can be disastrous for your vision.
A serious complication of cataract surgery is when too much force is used to remove the lens inside your eye. This happens when surgical instruments break down or wear out and need to be replaced.
If this occurs, then you will likely go blind in that eye because the vacuum within your eye will not work properly.
This danger is very rare, but it does happen sometimes. It is more common as you get older due to thinning bone and cartilage, which weaken and lose strength.
So if you are thinking about having cataract surgery, make sure to ask your surgeon how they perform the procedure and what safety measures they use to avoid potential problems.
Question: Are There Natural Ways To Prevent Eye Problems?
Answer: Yes! Fortunately, you do not have to worry about suffering from dry eye syndrome or developing glaucoma after undergoing cataract surgery if you follow certain guidelines.
Drinking enough water and limiting alcohol intake (one drink = 1 cup of alcoholic beverage) may help preserve your eyelid moisture.
What should I expect during and after surgery?
Even with advanced surgical techniques, cataract surgeries are still uncomfortable for most patients. Some people may feel pressure while their surgeon works to remove the lens material, or they could feel something like a warm washcloth being placed over their eye.
After the surgery is completed, your eyelids will be bandaged until you can open your eyes fully. This is important so that any leftover debris can be washed out of your eyes. You should also ask your doctor when you can go home and what kind of care you need to have back here.
Who can I talk to about cataract surgery?
Finding a good ophthalmologist (eye doctor) is an important part of having successful eye surgery. Luckily, there are many ways to find one!
You may know someone who has undergone or currently goes to see an eye doctor for care. Or you could visit your employer’s medical provider network, where they typically offer coverage for glasses and/or contact lens therapy and/or optometric services.
But what if you don’t know anyone with an eye problem? That’s when it becomes more difficult to get the help you need.
You could also check out The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s website, which contains information about how to choose an eye doctor and other tips. These two things alone should put your mind at ease.
Now let’s take a look at some helpful details related to cataracts.…
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudy layer of natural material that grows thick within the innermost structure of the eye, called the crystalline lens.
Is there anything I can do before the procedure to help reduce the risk of post-surgical complications?
One of the most common reasons for readmission following cataract surgery is uncontrolled pain. Many patients develop sensitivity or allergy symptoms to medications used to manage pain, making it difficult to sleep at night and preventing them from resting properly.
It’s important to be aware of what to expect both during and after your surgery. Talk with your doctor about potential ways to alleviate pain and prevent unnecessary hospital visits.
What are the different types of cataract surgery?
During your procedure, your surgeon will likely perform one or more of these steps: remove the natural lens, replace it with an artificial lens, do not use an artificial lens, or switch from one type of lens to another.
After you have completed all of your surgeries, what happens next depends upon which step was avoided or changed during the operation. If your doctor chooses to leave you without vision, this is called penetrating keratoplasty (PK).
With PK, your eye’s surface becomes completely covered in scar tissue. This process can take several weeks to fully heal. Once it has healed, people who undergo this surgery usually experience some degree of sight improvement, though it may be very limited at first.
Some patients find that they eventually develop perfect vision after their wounds begin to close and their eyes recover. It takes around six months for this to occur for most individuals.
Surgeons now have many alternatives to performing a corneal transplant.
Many of them avoid doing so by choosing instead to keep the natural lens or replacing it with an intra-ocular lens (IOL) — both of which help preserve nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatism vision.
However, researchers continue to explore other possibilities as well. One alternative approach is the implantation of a phakic IOL, where part of the optic is made out of glass and can directly receive and transmit light rays.
When is your surgery?
Is cataract surgery painful? It’s pain-free for most patients. So, don’t worry about it. Let me know how it went by leaving your comment below.