Question: I have been told I will require cataract surgery in the near future for both eyes. My concern is that I am extremely phobic about any near or actual eye contact. I literally have to take valium before a routine eye exam. So can this typically be done in hospital with some minor anesthesia? There is no way can I keep eyes open with someone closely approaching or touching my eyes. Please comment and give advice?
Answer: Modern cataract surgery is typically performed using only eye drops for anesthesia and with some oral medication such as Valium to help patients stay relaxed. However, if you are phobic, anxious or fearful you need to discuss this with your cataract surgeon who very well might suggest any one of a number of other alternatives-as well as possibly even more traditional anesthesia. Keep in mind that the “lighter’ the anesthesia, the quicker and more comfortable the recovery. Also, modern cataract surgery is pretty quick so you won’t experience the fear or phobia for too long-thus it might be possible to use more than eye drops but less than complete sedation.
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