You have selected the right physician to follow through on your cataract surgery and you’ve been given all of the necessary information to have the procedure. You’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s and you are ready to see clearly again. Despite this preparation, you may be feeling nervous or apprehensive before your procedure. The fear of the surgery can actually be worse than the procedure itself! You have selected the right physician to follow through on your cataract surgery and you’ve been given all of the necessary information to have the procedure. You’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s and you are ready to see clearly again. Despite this preparation, you may be feeling nervous or apprehensive before your procedure. The fear of the surgery can actually be worse than the procedure itself!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to minimize the stress you are experiencing. Individuals who are suffering from stress as they prepare for an upcoming surgery may go through a broad range of symptoms including difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, upset stomach, nausea, inability to sleep and general anxiety. This can even affect your state of mind causing you to feel frazzled or forget important information about the upcoming procedure.
Preoperative stress and anxiety are normal feelings to experience, but they don’t have to take up so much of your time and energy. Here are seven steps you need to take in order to minimize cataract surgery stress.
1. Talk to the Doctor-First things first, always talk to your cataract surgeon. An experienced cataract surgeon is very familiar with the procedure as well as your own medical history. Asking questions can help to put your mind at ease and give you further clarification about anything you’re still confused about. It can help to know as much as possible about the surgery and the fact that the surgeon has performed numerous procedures of this type makes him or her the ideal person to talk to.
2. Imagine the Results- Focusing too much on the procedure itself can only serve to amp up your fear and anxiety. Imagine how different your life will be after the cataract surgery is complete. Bear in mind that plenty of people have gone through this procedure safely and that your cataract surgeon cares significantly about your positive outcome.
3. Remove Yourself from a Stressful Environment- Consider taking yourself out of your environment entirely. For example, if you’re in your house and simply have too much nervous energy to be able to focus and relax prior to the cataract surgery, take a walk or set up a lunch with a friend to get out and relax. The brain is like a toddler, and it takes training and repetition to refocus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
4. Choose Relaxing Activities for Downtime- Schedule an activity that encourages relaxation. For example, going to the spa or getting a massage can help you to be distracted from the everyday world and focus on calming down and preparing for the surgery as effectively as possible. Where your focus goes, energy flows! You can also take long walks or thoughtful meditations and listen to your favorite music. This can help encourage you to be in a more relaxed state overall.
5. Use Herbal Supplements- Consider the use of herbal supplements to help destress. In many situations, these herbs are infused into a drink such as water or tea. Make sure you do consult with your doctor prior to taking these, especially as you get closer to the surgery itself.
The more information you have about the upcoming procedure, the better. There’s a pretty famous cartoon that states “knowing is half the battle.” The other half involves retraining your mind to focus on the wonderful outcomes and the ease of the procedure. Know that you are in good hands and the rest will take care of itself. If you ever have additional questions or would like to discuss your cataract surgery options, please contact us today!