What Could be the Cause of Bad Headaches After Cataract Surgery?

September 2, 2010

I am a 53 year female and just over a week ago I under went cataract surgery on my right eye.  I have developed extremely bad headaches behind my eye and reaching out to my temple.  It doesn’t seem to go away with normal pain medicine.  Could this be caused from some problem with the new lens?  Will this in course go away as the eye heals and gets used to the focus and light?  These don’t seem to be normal headaches – more like migraines although I have never had those before.




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13 Responses to “What Could be the Cause of Bad Headaches After Cataract Surgery?”

  1. ari weitzner on September 7th, 2010 9:30 pm

    perhaps the pressure is high in the eye? That can cause headache. inflammation, too. I have never seen long-term headache from cataract surgery

  2. gb on March 18th, 2011 7:02 pm

    I had cataract surgery on 12-15. It is now 3-18 and I still have headache on that side of my head. 24-7. What could be the cause and what can I do about it?

  3. Dr. Ari Weitzner on March 20th, 2011 12:30 pm

    cant be from the surgery- impossible. see a neurologist.- a 24/7 headache is never ophthalmological in origin.

  4. Jeanne Adam on November 6th, 2011 8:42 am

    I have had a “brow” headache since right after my R. Eye cataract surgery..my doc thinks if the eye is healed from the surgery, nothing else is wrong…the headache seems to be with me 24/7 now and it’s been 7 months since that surgery, the L.. Eye is fine, no pain….I also had a partial cornea transplant(DSAEK) after that on R. Eye, but the pain began after the cataract surgery! Help!

  5. ari on November 6th, 2011 9:16 am

    cant explain chronic headache to uncomplicated cataract surgery that lasts 7 months…sorry. maybe you should see a neurologist.

  6. G Canno on November 20th, 2011 1:47 am

    I just had cataract surgery on right eye. Instead of the 2-3 level pain I was supposed to have I had 5-7 unrelenting pain with nothing but Tylenol offered. And an attitude I must be lying. It’s ok now after a couple days but I won’t be doing the other eye.

  7. Jeanne Adam on November 21st, 2011 11:35 pm

    Now, 7months since that R. Cataract reemoval and still with brow pain…I have learned since last post that Naproxen 220mg. makes the pain subside until the Naproxen wears off. Not seeing eye doc until early Jan….sure hate to think this is forever, never had it til the surgery!!!! many thanks. Jeanne

  8. d. liebla on February 14th, 2012 11:32 am

    i also had cataract surgury. sept2011 and oct 2011. i have terrible headaches and i am very sensitive to the light since the 2nd eye was done. i’ve been been reassured my eye is healthy and pressure is in normal range, live in fl. and have to wear 2 pair of sun glasses to be outside. sent to neurologist and was told….. maybe i should see a psychiatrist. what can i do?

  9. ari on February 16th, 2012 8:44 am

    some patients become very light sensitive after cataract surgery. be sure to wear wrap-around sunglasses to eliminate stray light entering from the sides. if all fails, consider taking pilocarpine to make your pupil smaller

  10. B.Daring Pa. on July 29th, 2012 12:52 pm

    Dr that seems to think things are “IMPOSSIBLE” after cataract surgery,
    I have had headaches almost 24/7 since August of 2011 when I had cataract surgery of my right eye. Have had extensive exams of the eye since then including neuro- optha. and neuro surg at Wills Eye hospital with multiple tests including OCT, CAT and MRI along with total blood assessment. NOTHING FOUND TO BE WRONG!!
    Now the part you want to pay attention to:::::
    Same symptoms as the above patients and only heavy duty pain meds seem to decrease the pain (does not eliminate the pain). Also sensitive to light.
    All exams included dilation and numbing drops to check the eye and pressure. In my case, I have discovered a pattern that after each examination I have had 2-4 days of no headaches. Now for the interesting part, the exam I had this past Thursday 7/26/12, I only had the numbing drops put in so the pressure could be taken at Wills Eye Neuro- Opthamology. I woke up 7/27/12 headache free. Today, Sunday, 7/29/12 still headache free. Having had this done at least 8 times in the last 11 months I did not realize it was the numbing drops not the dilation drops that were giving me the relief I had needed until this last visit. I have also informed the neuro-opthamol. of this occurence. I had mentioned the relief I received after each exam to the Dr months ago. I’m hoping someone will have the fortitude to consider this and evaluate the outcome for me and others who apparently have similar problems.

  11. Jeannin on May 15th, 2013 9:50 pm

    I’ve lost all faith in eye doctors. Tear ducts inserted into tear ducts by quack eye doctor 2 years ago, and result is chronic tearing in right eye despite very painful surgery afterward by plastic eye surgeon to “open up the duct”. Had cataract surgery 8 days ago in left eye. Pain inside eye was a 10 that afternoon. Fortunately, I have Percoset for a spinal condition. Have been taking it for eye pain now since surgery – brow headache, as described by previous contributor, extreme red eye, bruising inside eye, sensitivity to light, intermittent flashing lights, and it hurts when I close my eye. Surgery itself was painful despite 3 doses of local anesthesia and two numbing needles which hurt intensely. I am calling my eye doctor tomorrow for another follow-up exam. I am very, very worried. I refuse to undergo any more eye surgery unless they put me to sleep as I can not tolerate the pain. Can I lose my eye from complications following cataract surgery? This is now 2 painful eye surgeries. P.S. Had unrelated eye surgery for “opposite of cross-eyed” at age four. I was fast asleep – NO COMPLICATIONS. Don’t believe it when told you have to be awake for eye surgery. Can the doctor on this site advise me? I’m scared to death about another visit to the eye doctor. They almost always hurt me.

  12. ari on May 20th, 2013 2:57 pm

    i would advise general anesthesia if you get pain despite all the injections and intravenous sedation. its very rare–ive never had to do it in 20 years, but there’s always an exception. pain will not reduce the sucess of the surgery, as long as the suregry was not complicated.

    plug migration and blockage is rare but it can happen to anyone. thats why i never insert permanent plugs anymore-i use those that dissolve in 4-6 months and simply re-insert every 4-6 months. so i never worry about this complication

  13. Delores on June 17th, 2013 3:11 am

    I have terrible sharp pains shooting through right side near front of my head. Have gone back to doctor and had the pressure and inflammation check and was told everything is fine. Before any surgery I had astigmatism and could not wear cataracts. My eyes would get really dry and I had terrible headaches. It feels the same now and I am not sure it is a good idea to have lens put in my eyes if I am a person that can’t wear contacts. I have had to have tear inserts put in my eyes, but they are not increasing tears as expected and so now I have to remember to frequently put eye drops in my eyes. Its a nuisance. I have no trust in eye doctors and feel I was just one more Gennie Pig to practice on. My previous doctor told me I was borderline for cataract surgery according to my previous eye doctor in NC, but when I came to VA and went for checkup, doctor insisted I needed the surgery. Really regret listening. I was wearing glasses, and sight was corrected and I was fine. Now, I am challenged daily with frequently using eye drops, and as a business professional time is everything. Its a real hassle. For the person who commented above about pretty much same problem; I assure you, you do not need a Psyc; the pain I and others are having is very real and it is frightening not knowing if a blood clot is forming, or just how much is the brain being affected. I am thinking I better see a neurologist just to be sure. I challenge all, take charge of your health and lets stop taking one opinion as the final opinion before we go into any type of surgery. If it take 2,3, or 4 opinions before a decision is made; its okay. Better safe then in misery the rest of your life.

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