Is Cataract Surgery Painful? The Short Answer is No.

Is Cataract Surgery Painful? The Short Answer is No.

The very idea of having surgery can make people feel nervous, especially when it comes to your eyes. And if you have cataracts that have progressed to the point where they interfere with your daily life, your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. So a natural question you might be wondering is, “Will cataract surgery hurt?” Let’s get right to the point. The short answer is “No.”


Cataract surgery is typically an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. This common procedure involves breaking up the cataract, removing it, and replacing your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one known as an intraocular lens or IOL. There may be some discomfort during the procedure, but your eye doctor will take steps to make sure you don’t feel any pain. Here’s how:


Before Cataract Surgery

Although cataracts cause visual symptoms that can make day-to-day life more difficult, such as seeing halos around lights when driving at night, they don’t typically cause pain. The stress, though, that stems from anticipating surgery can cause some people to experience symptoms like nausea or inability to sleep. In truth, the anticipation may be worse than the surgery itself. If you find yourself agitated or anxious prior to cataract surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she can walk you through the procedure step-by-step so that you know exactly what to expect. Sometimes that’s all you need to feel at ease. But most eye doctors will also provide you with a mild sedative prior to the procedure to help you relax and keep you calm.


During the Surgery

When it comes to cataract surgery, although the fear of pain maybe real, actual pain generally is not. Patients report little to no discomfort during the procedure. You will likely be awake for the surgery, but your doctor will administer numbing eye drops to keep you feeling comfortable throughout. Sometimes patients also receive additional medicine intravenously to ensure the best possible experience. Cataract surgery is a relatively quick procedure as well, usually lasting less than 15 minutes.


After Cataract Surgery

So what about after the surgery is complete? It is possible that after the medicine wears off you might feel some itching or minor eye discomfort, but most people report that it is easily managed with short-term use of over-the-counter pain medication. Everyone heals differently and at a different pace. At first, while adjusting to the new lens, you may experience symptoms such as blurry vision or a red, “bloodshot” eye, but serious pain is not a common side effect of cataract surgery.


The Weeks Following Surgery

Cataract surgery is the most effective treatment for cataracts. Very few patients experience complications and for most people, cataract surgery restores their vision, sometimes to a level even better than before they developed the cataract.

Most patients are completely healed within 8 weeks. During the healing period, you will be prescribed eye drops to use several times a day and will need to protect your eyes from sunlight and other bright lights. But within a short period of time you should be feeling (and seeing) better.

Modern cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed today. It’s typically a pain-free operation that greatly improves vision and quality of life for the millions of people who undergo the procedure each year.


The Advanced IC-8 Lens Advantage

 If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract, talk to your doctor about cataract surgery and your replacement lens options. The IC-8 small aperture lens offers many advantages over traditional monofocal and multifocal IOLs. It provides a natural range of vision from near to far, including mid-range vision needed to read a computer screen. It is designed to increase your freedom from glasses. With the IC-8 lens, one can achieve continuous and seamless vision at all distances. Learn more about the IC-8 lens.