Can Cataract Surgery Affect Your Sinuses?
There are few things more irritating than problems with our sinuses. Sinus infections cause blocked and runny noses, headaches and even fevers, and with such symptoms, most people will try anything to avoid them. Of course, our sinuses can be affected by all manner of things, but what about Cataract Surgery? In this article, we’ll be exploring whether Cataract Surgery could affect your sinuses.
The sinuses are four air-filled chambers located behind the cheekbones and forehead. They are linked to the nasal passages through small channels which allow airflow from your nose into the sinuses and mucus to drain from the sinus into the nose. The sinuses have mucus and tiny hairs that help to warm and humidify the air we breathe, making for comfortable and healthy breathing. Breathing in cold air is linked to a number of undesirable symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and sore throat.
Unfortunately, infections of the sinuses – also known as sinusitis – are relatively common. The sinuses can become blocked by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. This can cause inflammation and swelling which can lead to symptoms including headaches, nasal congestion, and a build-up of thick mucus. But is there a link between Cataract Surgery and sinusitis?
What is Cataract Surgery?
When we get older, our eyes are not spared from the ageing process. Most people will eventually begin to notice various tell-tale signs that their eyes are not working as well as they used to. This can include the onset of presbyopia (ageing eyes) and, of course, the formation of cataracts.
Cataracts are cloudy obstructions that form in the lens of the eye. They are caused by the natural breakdown of proteins in the lens which begin to clump together over time, resulting in gradual clouding. Cataracts can take years to become noticeable, but once they do, they can cause significant impairment to vision. Luckily, there is a simple solution that can fully restore your vision: Cataract Surgery.
This common routine procedure involves removing the clouded lens through a small incision on the surface of the eye. In its place, a new, artificial lens (known as an intraocular lens) is inserted, restoring – and sometimes, even improving – the patient’s vision. Cataract Surgery is an exceedingly safe treatment that typically results in only temporary, mild side effects such as blurred vision and dry eyes.
Cataract Surgery and the sinuses
As we mentioned earlier, sinus problems are typically triggered by infections or allergies that cause the lining of the nasal and sinus passages to become inflamed. The resulting symptoms, such as a build-up of pressure and nasal mucus can cause extreme discomfort. In some cases, antibiotic treatment may be required to shift the infection and resolve these symptoms. Your doctor may also treat any potential underlying causes of sinus problems, such as allergies and asthma.
The good news is that Cataract Surgery is not generally considered to be a cause of sinus problems. While a small percentage of patients may experience headaches after Cataract Surgery, this tends to be connected to other side effects, such as blurred vision, that can cause eye strain.
However, a 1992 article notes that orbital cellulitis – an infection of the soft tissues of the eye socket behind the orbital septum – and cavernous sinus thrombosis may be uncommon complications of ophthalmic surgery. However, they also noted that underlying sinus disease is the most likely cause of such potential issues.
To sum up, there is little evidence that Cataract Surgery is linked to any problems with the sinuses. The most common side effects of this routine treatment remain to be mild discomfort and blurred vision in the days following the procedure.