Terrified Of Cataract Surgery; I have been wearing glasses since age eight, and now I am 82. My prescription is rather high, so I have had a lot of experience with various opticians. Over the years, my eyesight has gradually been getting worse, and now the cataracts are causing me to have difficulty reading even with glasses.
I am terrified of cataract surgery. I hear that it must be done in a hospital and that there will be complications like bleeding from the eyes or retinal detachment. Is there any way to avoid this?
As a cataract surgeon, I’ve seen many patients who were terrified of cataract surgery. They all had their reasons:
A friend told me a horror story about her surgery.
I’ve heard it’s very painful.
I’m afraid I’ll wake up during the procedure and feel everything.
Even though I’m legally blind, I don’t want to lose my sight.
The list goes on and on
There are several things you can do to overcome your fear of cataract surgery. The first is to be open with your surgeon and let him or her know your feelings. Your doctor may have some suggestions for you to help ease your mind before the operation
Secondly, realize that most patients don’t feel anything during cataract surgery. You will be totally asleep, as we use deep anesthesia for this operation. You won’t see or hear anything during the procedure. Many patients who are awake recall being aware of entering and leaving the operating room but nothing else in between. Those who do remember having some awareness during the surgery only recall a sense of pressure in the eye, without pain
I have cataracts in both eyes and need to have surgery. I am terrified of the procedure. Can you tell me if it really is as bad as I am imagining it?
My Dear Friend,
I can tell you that I have had many patients like you who are terrified of cataract surgery. In fact, one of my patients had been putting off cataract surgery for 3 years because he was so afraid of the procedure. No matter how many times I explained it to him (and I explained it to him a lot), he was always convinced that something terrible was going to happen.
One day, he had a very serious car accident and injured his right eye badly. When he came to see me after the accident, he explained that he couldn’t see with that eye. Because the injury was so serious, there was nothing we could do to help him save his vision in that eye.
I then asked him: “When your eye hurt from the accident, did you say ‘I’m not going to see an ophthalmologist because I’m afraid of what they’re going to do’? Of course not! But when your cataract makes your vision so bad that you can’t drive or read, why are you so afraid of
I’m terrified of cataract surgery. I’m 68 and have been told I need it. I have been putting it off, not because of the pain but the fact that they have to use a needle to inject fluid into my eye! Please tell me it’s not as bad as it sounds!
Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, an ophthalmologist in Miami Beach, says “Cataract surgery is probably the most successful surgery we do, with more than 95% of patients getting better vision.”
The surgery usually takes 10-20 minutes, and patients can go home after a few hours. There is no pain during the procedure, though you may feel pressure in your eye during part of the procedure. Afterward, there may be some itching or soreness that gets better within a day or two. Most patients are able to return to work and other normal activities within a day or two after surgery.
The injection you’re worried about involves numbing your eye with topical drops (no needles) and then giving you an injection with a very small needle under your eyelid. The medicine stings for just a second, goes in very quickly, and doesn’t hurt afterward. People often say that this injection is the worst part of the whole experience
My right eye is supposed to have surgery in the morning at 7:30am and I am sick with anxiety. My vision has been lost in this eye now for 2 years and it has progressed enough that it would be a health risk to not have surgery. I’m supposed to get a multi focal lens implant. I don’t even know if I can sleep tonight knowing what I have coming tomorrow. I just want to know if anyone else had this done and how your experience was? How long did it take to recover? To see well? Did it hurt? Was it worth it? Does it feel weird having a synthetic lens in your eye? Thanks!
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed procedure in America, with more than 3.5 million procedures performed every year. The procedure is done to remove the eye’s natural lens that has become cloudy, and replace it with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery has an extremely high success rate of 98%.
I’m an amateur photographer with a lot of equipment, mostly Nikon and Canon. I’ve always had pretty good vision; the last time I had it checked, my ophthalmologist said I was “20/15” in both eyes. I’ve never had to wear glasses while shooting.
However, when I turned 50 two years ago, I noticed that my vision wasn’t quite as sharp as it used to be. It was like a slight fogging or haze. This increased gradually over the past two years, until about three months ago, when it became obvious that something was seriously wrong.
I went back to my ophthalmologist for an exam, and he diagnosed both eyes with cataracts — bad ones. He immediately referred me to a surgeon who does thousands of cataract operations every year. The surgeon examined me and told me that my vision would likely become worse over the next year; he recommended getting the operation done sooner rather than later (he also said there were no health issues that might make surgery more difficult).
He explained that cataract surgery has come a long way in the past few decades; it’s now extremely safe and effective. He said that after the procedure, patients are typically 20/25 in their corrected vision.
How Can I Overcome My Fear of Cataract Surgery?
I am a 71-year-old man with cataracts in both eyes. The cataract on the left eye is more advanced than the one on the right. My doctor said I should have the surgery because I am starting to notice the fogginess and blurred vision. However, I am very fearful of surgery and have been putting it off for the past three years. Can you please give me advice on how to overcome my fear?
As you know, cataracts are a common problem among older adults. In fact, more than half of all Americans have cataracts by age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cataracts occur when proteins in the eye clump together and become cloudy, which blocks vision.
If you’re afraid of having surgery, you’re not alone. Many people share your concerns. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures available today. Millions of patients undergo this procedure each year in the United States alone
Why should I consider having cataract surgery?
It’s important that you understand just how serious untreated cataracts can be. If left undiagnosed and untreated, they can eventually lead to blindness or loss of sight in one or
As a retired physician, I know that cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, more than 3 million cataract surgeries are performed each year. That’s a lot of people who have overcome their fear of cataract surgery!
In fact, you don’t need to be afraid. It’s one of the safest surgical procedures available to patients today. It’s an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day, and it takes less than an hour to complete. Most people don’t even require stitches after surgery, because a special ultrasound device is used instead to break up the cloudy lens and gently suction it out. The new artificial lens that replaces your old lens is inserted through this same small opening. You will spend about an hour in the recovery room following your surgery before going home.
You’ll need someone to drive you home after your procedure and stay with you for the first 24 hours while your eyes adjust and heal. Your eyes will be a little sensitive for the first few days after your procedure — kind of like how they feel when you get soap in them — but any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relie
The fear of cataract surgery is very common, and it often comes from not knowing what to expect. The best way to overcome this fear is to talk to your ophthalmologist about the process of cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed procedure in the United States. It has a high success rate and is considered safe for most people
It’s important for you and your family members to be comfortable with the idea of cataract surgery before proceeding. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the U.S., so you are not alone! Even though it is a routine procedure, many people are fearful or anxious about having an operation on their eyes.
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time to discuss each individual’s concerns during a pre-operative exam. Many ophthalmologists have their staff members review the basics of cataract surgery with patients before they meet with the doctor. However, even if you understand what will happen during surgery, it doesn’t help you overcome your fear of being awake during the procedure.
The best way to get over your anxiety is to talk about your concerns with a friend or family member who has had cataract surgery. Ask them how they prepared for their surgery and how it went for them. I think you will be surprised to find out that most people are not as frightened as they thought they would be.
First, reassure yourself that you will not feel anything during the procedure because you will be given eyedrops that numb your eyes and some oral medication to help you relax beforehand. When we put anesthetic drops in your eyes, you may feel some pressure when we hold your eye open with a special instrument, but no pain. Once we start working
Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed in the United States. It doesn’t hurt, and more than 98 percent of patients are pleased with their improved vision afterward.
If you’re still uncomfortable, talk with your doctor. Many surgeons will offer conscious sedation or local anesthesia so you won’t be aware of what’s happening during surgery. Your surgeon may also give you anti-anxiety medications to take before the procedure.
Cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. You’ll likely return home on the same day as your surgery with someone to drive you.
If your fears are irrational or if you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or panic disorder, talk to your doctor about other strategies for managing your fears before surgery
You may be surprised to know that most patients do not feel anything during cataract surgery. Anesthetic drops are placed in your eyes at the beginning of surgery to numb them and keep you comfortable during the procedure.
In preparation for your cataract surgery, you’ll receive a sedative via an IV. The goal is to make you feel relaxed and drowsy without putting you to sleep. This ensures that you’re able to follow instructions from your surgeon during surgery.
If you’re still feeling nervous, there are some things you can do prior to surgery:
- Be sure to have a family member or friend accompany you on the day of surgery, as driving afterwards may not be possible. This person can also help reassure you and ease any anxiety prior to entering the operating room
- Ask about the anesthesia options available for cataract surgery at your clinic before your scheduled operation date so that you know what to expect.
- Talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns that you have regarding cataract surgery prior to being admitted into the hospital so that they can address any concerns or misconceptions that you may have
“The fact is, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries performed today,” says Dr. Brian Chou, an ophthalmologist at UCLA Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles. “We perform millions of surgeries each year in the U.S. and the number continues to grow as baby boomers age.”
Here are some things to keep in mind about cataract surgery:
You’ll be awake during the procedure. You won’t feel any pain because your eye will be numbed with drops and your surgeon will administer a sedative to help you relax.
The operation only takes about 15 minutes. Your surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye to remove your lens and replace it with an artificial one, or intraocular lens (IOL).
You’ll need a ride home after surgery. Most people can resume normal activities within a day or so, but it’s best to have someone around for the first 24 hours or so after surgery in case you need help.
You’ll need to use eye drops for a few weeks after surgery. You’ll also need to avoid getting water in your eye while you shower or wash your face.
How Scary Is It To Have Cataract Surgery?
Having cataract surgery is no more scary than having any other outpatient surgery. The actual surgery takes just a few minutes and is painless, because you’ll be given eye drops to numb your eyes before the procedure.
Cataract surgery is done on one eye at a time and usually two weeks apart. You’ll have to wait a day or two after the first surgery before you can go back to work. This allows the eye to recover from the effects of the numbing drops and gives time for the incision to heal. Your doctor will give you instructions about when you can get your eye wet, but it’s usually safe to shower within a day after each surgery.
When you return for your second eye, you’ll have both eyes dilated again, so you won’t be able to drive home after the second procedure. If you don’t have someone who can take you home, ask your doctor if they can prescribe a pain killer that will allow you to drive home safely after the surgery.
There are some risks involved in having cataract surgery. Cataract removal requires an incision in your cornea and there’s always a risk of infection from any surgical procedure, but this is rare during cataract removal as long as sterile technique is
It is not scary at all, and you will probably not even realize that you are having cataract surgery. It is an outpatient procedure, which means that you will go home the same day as your surgery.
Before your surgery, your surgeon will place eye drops in your eye to dilate the pupil and numb it. You may also be given a sedative, so that you remain comfortable during the procedure.
During the surgery, a tiny device called a phacoemulsifier will break up the cataract into small pieces; then suction will be used to remove them from the eye. The lens capsule is left in place in your eye to support the new lens. Your surgeon will then insert a new artificial lens into the capsule to replace the old one. The artificial lens is made of clear plastic or silicone and functions like a normal lens. No stitches are required because the incisions are so small that they heal on their own.
First of all, it’s not going to hurt. It’s a very short procedure, maybe 15 minutes in the operating room. They’ll have you lie down, and they’re going to put some drops in your eyes so that you don’t feel anything, and then they’re going to hold your eye open with a little speculum. I always tell people, ‘Think about when you’re having your hair cut and the hairdresser or barber puts their hand on the back of your head or on your cheek.’ You can feel them holding things in place. That’s what the speculum is like.
Then using an ultrasound device, they’re going to break up the cataract into tiny pieces and then suck out those pieces. They do this through a tiny incision smaller than two millimeters that they might not even need any stitches for because it’s so small. They make this incision because they want to be able to fold back the lens capsule — that bag that holds the natural lens — and put a new lens inside of it.
Once they’ve done that, that’s it! You will see immediately after surgery; there’s no bandage or anything like that necessary. And then you’re going to have some follow-up visits afterward
Cataract surgery is a very common procedure, and is usually performed on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, the eye’s natural lens, which has become cloudy from cataracts, is replaced with an artificial lens to restore vision.
Cataract surgery is considered a safe and effective procedure. However, like any surgical procedure, it does carry some risk. A thorough consultation with your eye surgeon will help you weigh the risks and benefits of having cataract surgery.
Typically, after having cataract surgery you’ll be able to resume most of your normal activities within a few days. However, it may take several weeks for your eyes to fully heal. Your doctor will give you specific instructions about what activities are safe during your recovery period.
Cataract surgery is usually without any complications, and the results are good to excellent. Most people have much better vision after cataract surgery than before. However, no surgery is without risk or potential complications. The risks and potential complications of cataract surgery include
Swelling inside the eye (cystoid macular edema). This swelling can cause blurred vision that may not improve completely.
Bleeding in the eye
Infection in the eye (endophthalmitis)
Drooping eyelid (ptosis)
Double vision (diplopia)
Cataract surgery is no longer the arduous, expensive, and anxiety-producing operation it once was. It is now an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour to perform. Patients can be awake and alert during the procedure, and there’s no need for general anesthesia. The patient may feel some pressure during the procedure but will not feel any pain.
Cataract surgery has a high success rate and, in most cases, results in a dramatic improvement in vision. In fact, cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed in America today.
A cataract is an eye condition affecting the lens of your eye. It’s most common in older people, though it can happen to younger people as well. Cataracts affect your vision by clouding the lens of your eye.
Cataract surgery involves replacing the lens of your eye with an artificial one. It’s done to treat cataracts, but it also can be done for other conditions, such as farsightedness and astigmatism.
The good news is that cataract surgery is very safe and effective. It’s also a common procedure that surgeons perform thousands of times each day around the world.