Does Cataract Surgery Hurt?
- Posted on: Apr 15 2021
Cataracts are a common problem for many older adults. While they present significant concern as they worsen, cataracts are not a cause of blindness. As such, they do not require immediate treatment as soon as symptoms develop. Because patients are told they can choose to have cataract removal when they see fit, there is a chance that vision could degrade dramatically before that happens. If cataracts are impacting your daily life, we suggest making an appointment at our Chester, NJ office to discuss cataract removal surgery.
People who have started to consider cataract removal often face one glaring obstacle. They worry that the procedure will hurt. The eye is a sensitive part of the body! Just a speck of dust can cause a great deal of distress. We understand why the idea of having part of the eye removed would be intimidating. Here, we discuss aspects of the procedure, including that important detail of how we make it pain-free.
The Cataract Removal Procedure
One thing that you should know about having cataract removal surgery is that you will be awake. This is the primary reason people assume that they will be in pain. Not so. It isn’t general anesthesia that blocks pain, it is the right anesthesia. Before cataract removal, patients are given a mild sedative to help them feel relaxed and calm. Additionally, the doctor applies numbing eye drops before surgery. Numbing eye drops are incredibly powerful and block nearly all sensations from the eyes. Some patients describe the procedure as feeling slightly odd due to pressure from the tiny instruments, but they do not say it is painful.
After the clouded lens is removed, an appropriate artificial lens is inserted. This is selected ahead of time and can be customized to correct certain refractive errors. Because the artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, is chosen before the procedure and is ready for immediate placement, the surgery does not take long. If you would like, because you can communicate with your doctor, you may ask for updates on what they are doing at various points in the procedure.
After cataract removal, it is not uncommon to experience minor irritation. The eyes may feel dry or gritty. They may itch or be watery. Vision may be cloudy or foggy. Additionally, patients may feel generally groggy due to the mild sedative they have been given. As needed to manage comfort, you may take an over-the-counter medication approved by your doctor.
Posted in: Cataract Surgery