Anxiety is an emotion specifically triggered by a threatening situation. Patients, for instance, feel nervous before going under the knife. While it is a normal response for many, too much of it can put them at risk of feeling pain during an operation. A recent study revealed that anxious patients are at greater risk of feeling pain during cataract surgery.
Preoperative Anxiety Portends Pain
The same study involved 103 patients who underwent clear corneal incision phacoemulsification under local anesthesia at a healthcare facility in Israel between 2016 and 2018. The anxiety level of patients pre-surgery and any pain experienced post-surgery were measured on a scale of 0 to 10. A score of 7 or greater indicate both severe levels of pain and anxiety.
Among patients, the mean anxiety score was 3.69, and the mean pain score was 3.62. About 16% of patients experienced severe pain while 17% felt severe anxiety. Those with severe anxiety were 12 times more likely to feel severe pain. The study also opined that patients who received anxiolytics (anxiety inhibitors) didn’t experience less pain than those without.
Dealing With Anxiety Before a Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is generally conducted while the patient is awake. That said, every eye doctor must be aware of how intraoperative conditions and communication can affect the patient’s experience and satisfaction. When there are high levels of anxiety, the person may become restless, which could affect outcomes.
To ease pre-surgery anxiety, especially before an eye procedure, it is important to obtain as much information as possible. Visiting an eye specialist for a pre-surgery exam and consultation is necessary to allay any fears you may be experiencing.
At Advanced Eyecare Consultants, we’ll refer you to a trusted and respected surgeon. Once you meet the team who’ll perform the surgery, they will reinforce your confidence in them to minimize anxiety. They’ll make sure everyone is on the same page and following the same procedures. Expect us to be there for your post-cataract surgery care as well.