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

  • Scott Castillo

    Diane or anybody else with recent posting, did you all have a solution? My migraines after cataract surgery are bad.


  • Diane Lane-Cormier

    I just had cataract surgery on 8/8/16 and also started with a brow headache over that immediately after. I will not live with this headache if it becomes chronic as it appears it might be. This is too coincidental to be from anything other than my cataract surgery. What are my options if I have the implanted lens removed? This should be included as a potential complication and it currently is not. Wake up docs and include this complication in your data.

  • Lois

    Had cataract surgery on my right eye one week after having my left eye done on May 18. Have had a headache ever since. (over 7 weeks ago) Pain medicine helps, but does not stop completely. Will probably see a neurologist. Eye doctor
    says he never heard of headaches caused by cataract surgery, but there seems to
    be a lot of similar complaints.

  • Raymond Weis

    86 year old male with recent cataract surgery on both eyes. Headaches were fairly severe, and most interesting is it appears to be relatively common. Thanks to the exchange of information on the internet I am somewhat relieved. My concern is why doctors do not alert their patients to this possibility.


    I had eye muscle surgery Feb 2016 and within a week started having a constant headache from rt temple and extending across my brow. Sometimes it hurts below the eye socket or has a numbness. Now 4 months later the top and back of my head, always the right side, ache. I had 4 rounds of antibiotics and a CT of the sinus which diagnosed chronic sinisitis. I don’t believe this is the cause of my problem. I think I have either an drug resistant infection or nerve damage from the surgery as that was the start of the problem. The headaches are constant and really wearing me down. Any comment?

  • Linda

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes in August and September 2015. Immediately after both surgeries I had a painful migraine with vomiting. I am still having migraines with vomiting. HELP! The pain is real and debilitating. I was thinking it was because of the medication, but now I know I am wrong. What could be the cause?

  • Salman

    My left eye cataract surgery went well. Three days after the same for right eye, excruciating pains in the head started. I never had headache even for a day ever before. I am 82 and in good health. No diabetes or much of anything else except mild BP.
    I am perplexed and will see another eye doctor and also get a CT
    I am surprised and quite concerned.

  • lydia benton

    Had cataract surg. May 21st right then May 28th left. Have had headache ,extreme dryness, brightness that hurts. Changed to different Ophthalmologist , then another same establisment. Think he has tried to help with b-vitimins, am also taking Deplin . Am going to neurologist today. My decision, had to ask for refferal.

  • Linda

    I had catarac surgery in September of 14. I’ve not felt well since. I feel like I’m in an airplane and need to yawn, or swallow to regulate the pressure in my head. I also feel like my eyes are swimming…which makes me feel dizzy. I’ve seen Ear, nose, and throat dr. I’ve seen eye doctors. No one has an answer. It is maddening.

  • Anne Fowlds

    Just surprised that nobody has suggested the headaches and pain in the eye could be down to stiches -as sometimes during cateract op you may have to have some stiches- becoming dislodge and irritating the cornea.

  • rhoda bernstein

    I also had cataract surgery in nov 2015 and I have headaches since then I went to a nueroligst he found nothing I am going to have an mri since my operation all I have are headaches

  • Janice Monaco

    Since 2008, I had Cataract surger in my left eye. I have had headaches ever since. Keeping my ears dry and eye dry helps, but, when I get a bad headache, it recks the day and life.

  • Wayne cook

    After first cataract surgery on left eye my brow pressure tension headache began but it wasn’t untl the second cataract appeared on my right eye that it turned into a dizzy dull tension headache.
    After second surgey light sensitivity drive tension headache crazy.

  • Linda PA

    I am a 60 yr old female who has worn glasses since age 7 and has suffered from migraine headaches for almost that long. In August 2015, I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, a macular pucker and small hole in right eye and a macular hole in the left eye. Was told I was legally blind in the left eye. Surgeons wanted to do surgeries ASAP. Had cataract surgery on right eye 8/6 and on left eye 8/13. Vision after both was blurry but tolerable and was told it would get better….plus I needed a new pair of glasses in proper strength.
    Then on 9/1, I had surgery on right eye to remove scar tissue and the macular pucker. The hole in that eye was tiny so no bubble was used. I had the normal pain, swelling, etc…..but was able to see somewhat with the right eye.
    Then on 9/8, I had surgery on the left eye for a macular hole….a gas bubble was used so I have no vision in my left eye at all. Again, the pain, swelling, etc.
    Since the surgery on the left eye, my right eye has been getting progressively worse….I cannot see to read even with reading glasses…I need a lighted magnifying glass and then can read, use computer or anything else lose for no more than 10 minutes. And my overall vision in the right eye is getting worse….blurred and a strain to see almost anything.
    The worst is the pain in right eye……severe, stabbing pain behind the eye radiating to the right temple causing severe migraines. At times I am unable to open the right eye because the pain is so intense…and since my left eye has the gas bubble, It is like I am blind. The pain has intensified over the past few weeks, to the point that I am almost unable to function….I lay on the couch with ice packs and take Percocet….which I had from a hand surgery….just to be able to tolerate the pain. I am unable to drive, go anywhere, clean, cook, read, watch tv, use computer, etc. I am forcing myself to write this in hopes that someone can help!
    I have been to the surgeon a day after surgery…jus t had the normal surgery pain then.
    When the pain intensified, I contacted him several weeks ago…he ordered some different eye drops which didn’t help.tells me to take Tylenol…which is a joke.
    The pain continued getting worse…called again and saw me last week. After spending 4 hours in the office and having numerous tests completed, he stated that my eye is healing well…my vision is better than it was prior to surgery in right eye.
    Meanwhile, I could barely keep my eye open during the exam, could not see th chart except for the top letter and was in extreme pain while there.
    He feels that the right eye is taking longer to heal because it is doing the work of both eyes and it never had time to recover from surgery. I am wondering why the surgeries were scheduled a week apart. It has been 5 weeks now for the right eye. I last saw the dr a week ago and since that time the vision has gotten worse and the pain in my eye and temple is unbearable at times. I can’t do anything and am becoming very worried and depressed. I am worried that some kind of damage was done during the surgery….possibly to nerves or the optic nerve or a muscle? Or is there something that the dr missed? The surgeon is one of the top retina surgeons and has a great reputation. I am wondering what to do next? Do I try to wait it out? If so how long? Do I see another eye surgeon? Or a neurologist? PCP?
    If anyone has any idea what the problem is or what I should do, please let me know.
    I would be extremely grateful. Thanks.

  • sima kravitz

    My pressure and eyesight are good, but the pain still is there 2 weeks later. This impacts on my ability to have a good night of sleep.

  • sima kravitz

    I have had many problems with headaches, sharp and vertigo post cataract surgery.
    I cannot believe that the ophthalmologist does not accept that this can be secondary to the surgery. It is not impressive that a Dr cannot equate this with the procedure.
    There are so many nerves and muscles and I am sure it can be caused by the procedure.


    What is causing me to have a headache after cataract surgery? I have never had headaches before the surgery.

  • Janice Monaco Keller

    I have had the same story after a cataract lense implant in 2008. I have had progressive migrane headaches since. I have had an MRI, botox, seen 3 neurologists, Ears, Noise & Throat Dr., 2 eye Drs with everything turning out fine. So, now, instead of being in pain the rest of my life, I am going to have this lense removed. I hope it hasn’t caused permanent dammage. I have terrible migranes with shooting pain now into the sinus, temples, back of my left eye where the lense is. If this has caused permanent dammage, I will pursue a class action law suit for pain and suffering.

  • Janice Ann Monaco-Keller

    I had cataract surgery in my left eye in 2008. I have been getting headaches ever since. I thought is was allergies because they seemed to go crazy at the same time. My mom passed just before the surgery and I cried for 6 months right after surgery. Progressively, I have the headaches going on 7 years later. I want to be able to see out of that eye and kept telling myself it was not the lense. On February 2, 2015, I am FINALLY going to have it removed no matter what the Dr. say. Hopefully this did not cause permanent damage or they are going to have a law suit on their hands.



  • Janice Ann Monaco-Keller

    I had a cataract in my left eye and had a lense put in in February, 2008. Since then, I have had progressive eye pain, shooting pain, Migraine headaches. I have had and MRI, CT Scan. I have seen a Neurologist. I have seen sinus Dr. because the pain is not only in my left eye, it is in my left sinus too now. The pain is ruining my wonderful life. SEVEN YEARS of this progressively getting worse. I am finally going to see if can get the lense removed. What else can I do?


    Janice Ann Monaco-Keller