While it’s normal to feel nervous before undergoing a surgical procedure, excessive anxiety can actually increase your risk of feeling pain during an operation. A study found that patients with high levels of pre-surgery anxiety are more likely to feel pain during cataract surgery.
Today, your local eye specialist, Park Slope Eye, discusses how you can manage pre-surgery anxiety.
Pain and Preoperative Anxiety
In a study that took place between 2016 and 2018, 103 patients who underwent clear corneal incision phacoemulsification under local anesthesia were observed at Rambam Health Care Campus in Israel. A visual analog scale for anxiety before surgery was used to assess anxiety levels. Once the procedure was over, the patients’ pain level was evaluated through a visual analog scale for pain. The anxiety and pain levels were both measured on a scale of 0 to 10, with a score of 7 or higher indicating severe pain and severe anxiety.
16% of patients experienced severe pain, while 17% experienced severe anxiety. The study found that a patient with severe anxiety was 12.4 times more likely to feel severe pain during surgery. Patients who were given medication to inhibit anxiety did not feel less pain than those who were not given this medication.
One way you can ease pre-surgery anxiety is by being well informed about what to expect during the procedure. Visit Park Slope Eye, your local eye care clinic, for a pre-surgery exam and consultation. Our specialist will thoroughly examine your eyes and address any concerns you may have.
Managing Pre-Surgery Anxiety
Anxiety is a natural human response to situations perceived as dangerous. The purpose of anxiety is to prepare your body so you can quickly react to danger. However, when there’s no real danger, anxiety can have negative effects. It can make the pain feel worse and harder to cope with.
There are different ways people manage pre-surgery anxiety. Some studies suggest that listening to music pre-surgery helps patients relieve anxiety. Music can help people stay relaxed and distracted. Breathing exercises and muscle relaxation can also be helpful. In a study that included 1,205 patients with pre-surgery anxiety, around two-thirds of the patients believed that being well informed about the procedure would help them manage their anxiety.
Before surgery, you can consult counselors or volunteers at the hospital who offer assistance. The type of professional support you need will depend on what exactly is causing your anxiety.
At Park Slope Eye, our eye care specialists will educate you about your condition and treatment options. Schedule an appointment online to learn more about our services. We help patients in Brooklyn, NY, and nearby areas.