Can cataract surgery trigger NAION?
APR 22, 2021
My wife had NAION damage in one eye several years ago which permanently affected the vision in that eye. She is now due for cataract surgery. Can cataract surgery trigger the same problem in her other eye?
This is an excellent question without a clear answer. Research studies suggest that there is a slightly higher risk of NAION (non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy) after cataract surgery. This risk may be higher in patients with a history of NAION in their other eye. There are other rare complications from cataract surgery that cause permanent vision loss including infection inside the eye (endophthalmitis) and retinal detachment. Because cataracts slowly worsen over time, but do not typically damage the eye otherwise, patients are encouraged to weigh the risk of these uncommon complications against the relative interference of visual function from the cataract.
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